IOWA SPORTS FOUNDATION
Iowa Sports Foundation raises food insecurity awareness through web-based donation portal
The competitive spirit of Iowans will fuel additional support for Iowa's food banks thanks to a web-based donation portal offered by the Iowa Sports Foundation.
For the past two years, the Iowa Games has provided the option for Summer Iowa Games participants to the Iowa Food Bank Association (IFBA). Building off of the momentum of September National Hunger Action Month, the Iowa Games announces that it will extend the donation option for all online sporting events registrations including Net Fest (soccer, basketball, volleyball), Winter Iowa Games, Hoopin' At The Dome, Iowa Games Mud Run, Summer Iowa Games and Golf Classic.
"Iowans help Iowans and the spirit that fuels excellence in competition is also boosting support for people struggling with hunger," says Kim Abels, Iowa Games sports and special events director. "We've seen tremendous results by offering this option for Iowa Summer Games participants but wanted to do more. Extending this to all sporting events will increase contributions while raising awareness of food insecurity and the work of Iowa's food banks."
Since 2011, the Iowa Games and its presenting sponsor - the Iowa Food & Family Project - have conducted activities offering thousands of Iowans unique opportunities to support Iowa's food banks. More than $30,000 in monetary and food contributions have been provided to help those struggling with hunger including nearly $5,000 donated by Iowans at the Summer Iowa Games Fields of Champions Family Cookout in Ames in July and last month's "Get Connected to Farming" exhibit during the Iowa State Fair.
IFBA Executive Director Cory Berkenes says the announcement coincides with the association's call this month for Iowans to "take action" to reduce food insecurity.
"With nearly 400,000 Iowans struggling against hunger, including nearly 140,000 children, efforts like that of the Iowa Sports Foundation and Iowa Food & Family Project are extremely beneficial," Berkenes says. "It also brings public attention to this growing issue that greatly impacts Iowa's goals in the areas of health, education, and economic development. Iowa farmers are dedicated to feeding people and that mission starts right with activities like this."
Berkenes says 12.9 percent of Iowans are food insecure, meaning they do not have the ability to acquire nutritionally adequate and safe foods. As a result, some are forced to make tough decisions about providing food for their families or paying their rent or mortgage, paying for transportation, or paying for medical bills.
"These are choices that no one should have to make," Berkenes says.
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About the Iowa Sports Foundation
The mission of the Iowa Games is to provide sports and recreation opportunities for all Iowans through Olympic-style festivals, events and programs. The Iowa Games is a department of the Iowa Sports Foundation. The Iowa Sports Foundation is a nonprofit sports management organization that helps develop amateur sports in Iowa and promote positive lifestyles and physical fitness through athletic events and health education initiatives.
About the Iowa Food & Family Project
The Iowa Food & Family Project unites people in conversations about wholesome food and the farmers who grow it through innovative activities and personal engagement. It involves more than 35 partners including farm groups, retailers and leading nonprofits and proudly serves as presenting sponsor of the Iowa Games and supporter of Live Healthy Iowa. It is funded in part by the soybean checkoff. Feed your curiosity about today's farms and food system at www.iowafoodandfamily.com.
About the Iowa Food Bank Association
The Iowa Food Bank Association is a collaborative effort of the eight food banks in Iowa that serve all of its 99 counties. Association members include: Food Bank of Iowa, HACAP Food Reservoir, Northeast Iowa Food Bank, River Bend Food Bank, Food Bank for the Heartland, Food Bank of Southern Iowa, Food Bank of Siouxland and St. Stephen's Food Bank. Collectively, the food banks provide over 30 million pounds of grocery products to over 1,000 nonprofit agencies serving Iowa's food insecure population.
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