Iowa Farm Bureau’s ‘Tackle Tracker’ initiative resulted in a $15,000 donation to Iowa State University’s (ISU) on-campus food bank, The S.H.O.P.—Students Helping Our Peers.
For every ISU tackle during the regular football season, Iowa Farm Bureau donated $25 (up to $15,000) to The S.H.O.P. According to ISU, 31% of Iowa State University students are food insecure. Food insecurity is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a “lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle.”
“Between September and December of 2021, around 320 students visited The S.H.O.P. for food each month. Those visits amounted to more than 17,300 pounds of food,” says Erin Baldwin, associate vice president for student health and wellness and director of Thielen Student Health Center. “This is a much-needed service for our campus, and we’re thankful for Farm Bureau and this initiative that can help us feed more students who need fuel to focus on their studies.”
But this isn’t a problem unique to Iowa’s land-grant institution. In 2020, a joint non-profit survey revealed more than 50% of college students reported using food banks, and 24% had taken out loans to cover food costs. “With all the challenges young adults face in college, where their next meal is coming from shouldn’t be an obstacle to higher education,” says IFBF President Brent Johnson. “Food is center of plate for farmers, and Iowa Farm Bureau is proud to feed communities across our state through food pantry initiatives. We are grateful to ISU Athletics for partnering with us on nourishing our state’s young and rising leaders.”
Since their inception in 2011, The S.H.O.P. has seen year-over-year increases in student usage and last year stayed open during the summer months and winter break. Those interested in volunteering or donating to ISU’s food pantry should visit https://www.stuorg.iastate.edu/shop-foodpantry-2011.