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Hunger Free Holidays Campaign to Provide Much Needed Food to Iowans

December 2, 2020 | COVID-19, Media Center, Press Releases

Food Bank of Iowa aims to raise $1 million to fight holiday hunger

As we prepare for the holidays, more Iowans struggle with food insecurity. To help provide for those in need, Food Bank of Iowa has launched Hunger Free Holidays, an annual fundraising campaign to fight hunger in Iowa. They aim to raise $1 million, which will create up to four million meals for Iowans who need help putting food on the table. To date, caring Iowans have donated more than $600,000 for their neighbors in need. However, additional help is still needed.

Hunger Free Holidays began with a proclamation from Governor Kim Reynolds declaring December 2020 as Hunger Free Holidays Month in Iowa. The proclamation recognizes the six Feeding America food banks which supply nutritious food to more than 1,200 pantries across Iowa.

According to Feeding America and McKinsey Consulting, food insecurity has doubled since January 2020. For households with children, it has tripled. This means more families are going without the adequate nutrition necessary to sustain healthy lives.

“Not knowing where to find a meal is awful any day of the year, but it is particularly tough during the holidays. This year is especially harsh, with high unemployment and thousands facing the fear of scarcity and hunger for the first time,” said Michelle Book, CEO of Food Bank of Iowa. “If you are in the position where you could help another family, please consider joining the fight against hunger this holiday season—there is no greater gift.”

Food Bank of Iowa partnered with KCCI-TV 8 on December 1for Giving Tuesday. Viewers were generous, donating more than $435,000 of the total funds for the campaign. This will provide up to1.7 million meals for their neighbors facing hunger, but the need is great and ongoing.

“I am proud of the effort by the team at KCCI, and the generosity of Iowans, to launch the Hunger Free Holidays fundraiser,” said KCCI President and General Manager, Brian Sather. “The generosity of our viewers, and the results from just the first 24 hours, demonstrates the power of local broadcasters to help meet the critical needs in their communities.”

The campaign was also boosted by matching gifts from organizations and individuals. F&G Annuities & Life pledged a match up to $100,000 for Hunger Free Holidays. Corteva, QCI, Waldinger, U.S. Bank, the Doug and Mary Kay Bruce Family, and Lori and John Chesser are also matching contributions during the campaign.

“During these times of uncertainty, F&G is ready to help fight hunger in the Iowa community this holiday season,” said F&G CEO Chris Blunt. “Together with our employees, we encourage others to come together to give the gift of hope for food-insecure children and families.” 

Other organizations have also stepped up to make Hunger Free Holidays a reality. To help move Food Bank of Iowa toward their goal of creating four million meals for families across the state, Wells Fargo donated $100,000 to Food Bank of Iowa.

“Wells Fargo is thrilled to announce today that we are making a $100,000 donation to Food Bank of Iowa to help put meals on the tables of people in need this holiday season,” said Marta Codina, region bank president for Wells Fargo. “We’ve been teaming up with the organization throughout the year, of course, and this donation brings our total contributions to Food Bank of Iowa to $196,000 in 2020. Wells Fargo is shining the light on our communities nationwide through our ‘Many hearts. One community.’ campaign to make this challenging holiday season a bit brighter, and locally we are delighted to support the Food Bank’s efforts to provide more meals to hungry Iowans.”

Food Bank of Iowa is the most efficient food rescue and food assistance provider in central Iowa. Leveraging national partnerships, government relationships, and massive purchasing power, every dollar donated is stretched to provide up to four meals for neighbors in need.

Donations can be made at FoodBankIowa.org.

For those who are struggling to put food on the table this holiday season, Food Bank of Iowa has resources to help. Visit FoodBankIowa.org or call 515-564-0330 to find a pantry near you.

About Food Bank of Iowa

Food Bank of Iowa exists to make certain Iowans do not go hungry when times are tough.

Food Bank of Iowa sources food, a majority of which is free and reduced cost, for Iowans in need by leveraging bulk purchasing power, key retail food rescue relationships and USDA commodity food. The Food Bank keeps the food safe and delivers it to 630 partners—including community, church and school pantries, backpack schools, after-school programs, senior meal sites, veterans agencies, homeless shelters and rehabilitation sites—who then distribute food to children, seniors, veterans and hard-working Iowans. Food Bank of Iowa serves 55 counties, covering big cities and small towns across 30,000 square miles.



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