$10,000 of pork donated to Iowa food banks as need soars

Pictured above holding packages of donated pork are, from left, Linda Schroeder, Remsen; Dean Frazer, Conrad; and Lance Heuser, Manson. All are members of the Iowa Pork Producers Association board of directors. PHOTO COURTESY OF IOWA PORK PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

DES MOINES – The Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) recently donated $10,000 worth of pork Friday to help fight food insecurity in central Iowa. That translates to about 14,400 meals, divided between the Food Bank of Iowa and the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC).

The Food Bank of Iowa and DMARC, both based in Des Moines, each received 1,800 pounds of ground pork. The donations stemmed from IPPA’s BBQ & Brew at the Ballpark event in July.

“The holiday season is upon us and addressing food insecurity is vital this time of year,” said IPPA President-Elect Matt Gent, a pig farmer from Wellman. “Pork producers care about their communities, and this is one of the many ways we give back. Pork is a rich source of protein and it’s very versatile. We hope these donations help a lot of folks who may not have regular access to hearty, nutritious meals.”

IPPA and its county affiliates across the state have provided tens of thousands of meals for underprivileged Iowans this year.

“Right now, food insecurity is nothing short of an emergency in our community,” said Matt Unger, CEO at DMARC, a nonprofit that operates a Food Pantry Network in the Des Moines metro. “The Food Pantry Network assisted 26,469 individuals in November — the most people ever assisted in one month.

“Thank you to Iowa’s pork producers for choosing to support DMARC during this especially busy holiday season,” he added. “These donations are some of the most requested items at our pantries.”

Caring for the community is one of the core principles for Iowa pig farmers. These donations will help children, families, and seniors who are struggling with hunger.

“I have raised hogs, so I understand the tremendous value of this generous donation,” said Michelle Book, CEO of the Food Bank of Iowa. “Ground pork is tasty, versatile, and packed with protein — protein which is much needed right now by families struggling to make ends meet and folks living on fixed incomes. As the need for food assistance increases, we are grateful for our partnership with the Iowa Pork Producers Association.”