Over the past year, Iowans from around the state and from a variety of backgrounds have contributed over $6.24 million, along with 15.3 million pounds of food and 65,000 volunteer hours to combat hunger both at home and abroad.
The announcement of Iowa's total contributions to the fight against hunger was a highlight of the first Iowa Hunger Summit, held on Tuesday, October 16, in recognition of United Nations World Food Day around the globe and Dr. Norman E. Borlaug/World Food Prize Day in Iowa. More than 400 Iowans attended the event, including Governor Chet Culver and the honorary co-chairs of the event, former Governors Robert Ray, Terry Branstad and Tom Vilsack.
The day of events at the Iowa Hunger Summit was designed to enhance public attention to both the causes of and solutions to hunger; and to encourage increased action and partnership among Iowans to continue fighting hunger. Forty-seven of Iowa's 99 counties were represented at the summit, a number organizers hope will grow in coming years.
Iowa Hunger Summit takes a larger view
The Hunger Summit also included a session highlighting the work of the World Food Program; a delegation of UN Ambassadors from Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia; a bipartisan panel of high-level representatives from presidential campaigns highlighting actions that can be taken to fight hunger and poverty; and an address by former Congressman Jim Leach on how international cooperation can counteract global challenges like hunger.
"With the legacy of Iowans like Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, our state has a long and storied history of feeding the world," said Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, one of the organizers of the inaugural event. "Quantifying what the state has contributed to the fight against hunger helps to spotlight the efforts of ordinary Iowans, and it also provides us with a figure to top next year. We applaud Iowans' generosity and initiative in fighting hunger. And we encourage increased action and stronger partnerships toward that goal."
World Food Prize officials have spent the last year tabulating information on the wide variety of anti-hunger projects Iowans lead or participate in through charitable groups, community associations, religious communities, businesses, schools and private citizens.
Results show how it all adds up
* At least $6,242,100 have been donated by Iowans to organizations and agencies involved in fighting hunger.
* 15,297,000 pounds of food have been gathered or distributed, both around the state and internationally
* Over 65,000 hours have been volunteered to Iowa anti-hunger advocacy projects or programs that provide food to those who need it.