The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) and University of Iowa Athletic Department’s America Needs Farmers (ANF) initiative today announced a donation of $18,500 to the Iowa Food Bank Association, putting the total dollars contributed to food banks since the initiative was announced five years ago to over $100,000. The donation is especially timely given the rising costs of turkey, a holiday meal staple in homes across Iowa, combined with higher demand and lower supplies at statewide food banks for Iowans in need.
“The Iowa Food Bank Association is pleased to honor an exceptional milestone: $100,000, which is critical to feeding the growing number of Iowans who struggle to put healthy, nutritious meals on the table for their families,” says Cory Berkenes, executive director of the Iowa Food Bank Association. “This milestone means the Iowa Farm Bureau/U of I’s ANF initiative alone has helped feed 165,975 needy families across the state, which underscores the importance of farmers to our community. And, with food costs rising and the stocks running low in many of our food pantries, I can’t tell you how crucial this type of commitment is, especially as we kick off our holiday ‘Season of Giving/Stock the Pantry’ push,” says Berkenes.
“For many, Thanksgiving weekend was a chance to celebrate blessings. Unfortunately, during that same time, thousands of Iowans went without food. The Hawkeyes are proud to partner with Iowa Farm Bureau to focus on the ANF initiative. This year, a milestone was reached as the partnership surpassed $100,000 in contributions to the Iowa Food Bank Association. Here’s to the next $100,000 and the quest to end hunger in our state,” says Gary Barta, University of Iowa athletic director. A portion of the proceeds of ANF merchandise sales go towards stocking Iowa food banks.
“We are pleased that the ANF initiative helps put a spotlight on today’s farming, but it also helps shine a light on the need our food banks have,” says IFBF President Craig Hill. “Our farmers have always been supportive of their local food banks and believe it’s important to help those in need. It’s also why our 97-year-old organization is a champion of youth and education programs, because helping those in need and paving a leadership path for the next generation of Iowans is central to who we are. We are honored to support the work of the Iowa Food Bank Association.”
The 2015 donation and $100,000 corporate milestone announcement comes as the 159,000 member organization wraps up ‘Iowa Farm Bureau Week,’ November 30-December 6. For more information on ANF, visit www.americaneedsfarmers.org .