Beginning in September, families struggling with food insecurity will find some relief with a new program –– called Ham Sandwiches for Kids –– made possible by the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation and Iowa Select Farms. The program will provide $5 coupons four times a year for sliced or shaved ham to Iowa families who have children participating in the Food Bank of Iowa's BackPack Program.
The BackPack Program provides child-friendly, easy-to-prepare nonperishable food items on weekends and during school breaks when students do not have access to the federal free and reduced price meal program. The BackPack Program currently serves more than 3,000 children each week at 85 sites in 21 Iowa counties.
"I appreciate the continued support and generosity of the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation," says Carey Miller, executive director of the Food Bank of Iowa. "With this partnership, more children and their families will have access to a nutritious and protein-rich product that they desperately need."
According to the United States Department of Agriculture's MyPlate guidelines, children need up to six ounces of lean protein daily, depending on age and gender. Ham is included in the MyPlate as a nutrient-dense lean protein that promotes growth and development in today's youth.
Program is being expanded on large scale to have major impact on reducing childhood hunger in central Iowa
"We started our Ham Sandwiches for Kids pilot program last year in the communities of Iowa Falls and Mt. Ayr because, as farmers and pork producers, we are passionate about providing hunger relief, especially for children," says Jeff Hansen, CEO of Iowa Select Farms and co-founder of the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation. "Hunger relief is one of the major focuses of our Foundation," he adds. "Our pilot program proved highly successful and we're elated to be expanding it on a large scale in cooperation with the Food Bank of Iowa. Together, we're going to have a major impact on reducing childhood hunger in central Iowa."~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
The launch of this program coincides with Hunger Action Month. Beginning September 1, the Food Bank of Iowa and other food banks in the Feeding America network will kick off Hunger Action Month by holding a variety of events, sharing ideas and inspiring people to take action to help the millions of people who are food insecure in the United States. To learn how you can get involved, visit the Food Bank of Iowa website.
About Food Bank of Iowa: The Food Bank of Iowa is a private, not-for-profit organization committed to its mission of alleviating hunger through food distribution, partnership and education. The Food Bank of Iowa solicits, receives, inventories and distributes donated food and grocery products to more than 375 partner agencies in 55 counties who directly serve needy individuals within their communities. In FY 2013, the Food Bank of Iowa distributed 9,024,000 lbs. of food. To learn more, visit the website or find us on Facebook.
About the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation and Iowa Select Farms: Deb and Jeff Hansen, who founded Iowa Select Farms and New Modern Concepts, established the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation in 2006 to work with philanthropic organizations to relieve hunger, support military families and strengthen efforts to find a cure for childhood cancer while improving the quality of life for cancer patients. Iowa Select Farms, based in Iowa Falls, is the largest pork producer in Iowa. The company has been producing high-quality pork for 20 years and is committed to meeting or exceeding all requirements in efforts to protect the environment and ensure proper care and well-being of swine.