AMERICA NEEDS FARMERS PROGRAM AND HAWKEYE FANS DONATE THOUSANDS OF POUNDS OF FOOD AND CASH TO HELP EASE HUNGER IN IOWA
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – April 19, 2012 – The generosity of Iowa Hawkeye fans and Iowa farmers helped bring in 5,040 pounds of food and $1,575 in cash for local and statewide food banks. The America Needs Farmers (ANF) program launched the 2012 season with the annual ANF Food Bank Drive at the April 14th Hawkeye Spring scrimmage.
“We’re proud that Iowans opened their hearts to bring thousands of pounds of food and critical cash donations to the ANF event,” said farmer and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) President Craig Hill. “It shows the incredible generosity of Iowans who believe in caring for their neighbors and friends who may have fallen on hard times.”
Food pantries across the state report a 30 percent increase in the number of families who have requested assistance in recent months. The Johnson County Crisis Center alone distributes 60,000 pounds of food every month and prior to the ANF April 14th food bank drive, they faced a critical shortage in both food and donations.
The Iowa Food Bank Association, which is a collaboration of eight food banks that collect and distribute food and essential supplies across the state, sees a statewide shortage. “About 43 percent of those Iowans who need food assistance don’t qualify for government assistance because they are working; it’s just that they’re not able to cover increased fuel costs, medical bills and meet all the nutritional needs for their families,” said Jordan Vernoy, director of the Food Bank Association of Iowa. “But, donations gathered April 14th by Hawkeye fans will go a long way. Every one dollar donated this past weekend will be used to help us gather $15 of food donations.”
To encourage Food Bank donations, the first 1,000 Iowa Hawkeye fans who brought donations, received ANF items.
ANF was first launched in 1985 during the height of the Farm Crisis by legendary Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry, who wanted to show an increasingly urban nation why agriculture matters. Fry notes that ANF may be more important today with fewer farmers and a growing population. For more information about why America Needs Farmers, visit www.americaneedsfarmers.org.
About Iowa Farm Bureau
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa. More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity. For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online Newsroom page at www.iowafarmbureau.com.