Iowans United in Fighting Hunger – At Home And Abroad
Iowa’s contributions to the global fight against hunger reached $12.1 million between October 2010 and October 2011, with food donations of more than 12.8 million pounds and volunteered hours totaling over 520,000. The annual announcement was made to more than 500 attendees of the Fifth Annual Iowa Hunger Summit, which is organized by the World Food Prize Foundation.
The numbers showed mixed improvement from 2010. More than 100 prominent anti-hunger organizations serving areas throughout the state contributed to the statistics. On one hand, monetary donations increased from $9.4 million last year. Volunteer hours held fairly steady from 540,000 last year. However, Iowans donated fewer pounds of food, compared to last year’s 18.6 million. Event organizers called Iowans to action, encouraging them to continue contributing to the fight against hunger, as the number of Iowans living with food insecurity continues to grow each year. According to the Food Research and Action Center, 14.4 percent of all households in Iowa (172,000) are food insecure. That translates to 1 in 6 (123,901) Iowa children under 18 years of age who do not have enough to eat.
The data was shared during the event’s “Hunger Luncheon,” where guests are served meals used by Iowa-based organizations in food assistance and hunger-relief efforts in Iowa and abroad. Guests were served an appetizer and one of four meals including:
• SPAMMY™ served with Tortilla Chips (Appetizer)
Served by Hormel Foods Corporation
• Afghan Goat Korma, Naan and Rice
Served by Iowa National Guard 734th Agribusiness Development Team
• Butternut Squash Soup and Apple Carrot Salad
Served by Local Foods Connection
• Prosciutto Wrapped Tilapia with Roasted Carrots
Served by Iowa Interfaith Power and Light
• Chicken Caesar Wrap, Cuban Black Bean Salad and Apple Slices with Skim Milk
Served by Iowa Department of Education, Bureau of Nutrition, Health and Transportation Services
With aims to enhance public attention to both the causes of and solution to hunger, the Iowa Hunger Summit celebrated and encouraged increased action and partnership among Iowans to solve issues related to hunger, poverty and malnutrition
This year’s Iowa Hunger Summit had a special focus on nutrition and health, as well as local foods. The keynote speaker was Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide, one of the organizations working on the ground to alleviate famine in the Horn of Africa.
The annual Iowa Hunger Summit is always a free and open to the public, and this year drew more than 500 participants. The event intends to enhance public attention to both the causes of and solutions to hunger, and to celebrate and encourage increased action and partnership among Iowans to solve issues related to hunger, poverty and malnutrition.
As such, the “Hunger Luncheon” featured a keynote address by Tom Arnold, CEO of Concern Worldwide and remarks by Gov. Terry Brandstad that focused on the current famine crisis in the Horn of Africa. Afternoon sessions included a variety of hands-on interactive breakout sessions organized by Michael Hamm, Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University, Blessman Ministries, Iowa State University, and the ONE Campaign. In the morning, attendees listened to four security and nutrition presentations from 30 Project and the Global Food Banking Network; Heartland Global Health Consortium; the Iowa Food Access and Health Work Group; and the Hormel Foods Corporation.
The annual Iowa Hunger Summit is sponsored by FBL Financial Group, Inc. and Iowa Farm Bureau and is a grassroots event that brings together organizations from across the state who work on hunger-fighting projects at home and abroad.