November is Hunger Awareness Month and Iowa farmers take their role in feeding the world to heart. “I’m proud the egg farmers in Iowa have stepped up for those that struggle to afford their products. Eggs are not only one of the most nutritious foods and best proteins in the diet, but they also have rarely been available to food bank customers, and certainly not on a consistent basis,” said Iowa Egg Council Executive Director, Kevin Stiles.
A little over a year ago, the Iowa Egg Council began strengthening our relationship with the Food Bank of Iowa and the Iowa Food Bank System. For each of the past three years, leading up to Christmas, Iowa egg farmers, through Iowa Egg Council, have teamed up with Fareway Stores and carried out a partnership to donate a full semi-load of eggs to families in need across the state. About that same time, egg producer Ross Dean of Versova assumed the role of Food Bank of Iowa Board Chair. Over the past year, Iowa egg farmers kicked off the “Cracking Hunger” Campaign and have committed more than five million eggs donated annually to the Iowa Food Bank System and food pantries throughout the state.
Now food pantries throughout Iowa can inventory eggs and count on eggs being available to their consumers every week throughout the year. This means that their patrons can count on having quality protein consistently for their families. Protein is one of the most limited items among economically challenged families. Kevin Stiles, Executive Director Iowa Egg Council, said, “While eggs are relatively easy to prepare, our goal is also to educate these customers on how to handle, prepare and serve eggs and egg dishes in a variety of ways. Eggs are not only high-quality nutrition, but also are versatile, complement many other foods and taste terrific.”
Other examples of Iowa egg farmers’ contributions include their work in schools and egg farmers’ partnership in developing countries around the world. Not only do farmers take on these efforts as a part of their corporate social responsibility efforts, but also a means to create life-long egg consumers.
A few weeks ago, Iowa Egg Council and the American Egg Board teamed up with Des Moines Public Schools to focus on healthy eating and its impact on improved learning in the classroom. Research has shown that children that eat breakfast, including healthy food, like eggs, are more attentive and better performers in the classroom. As part of this event, Iowa egg farmers donated 33,000 eggs one for each student in the district.
We thank Iowa Egg Farmers for their contributions, the Food Bank System and Iowa school nutrition staff for their collective efforts to help ensure that all Iowans have access to high-quality protein.