Guest blog post by Lindsay Pingel
Communications Manager, Food Bank of Iowa
Recently, I was doing my weekly grocery run on a busy Saturday afternoon. I weaved my cart up and down the aisles, fought my way through the crowd and finally made it to the checkout line. As I was waiting in line and flipping through the latest magazine selections, something caught my eye.
The family in front of me was taking items out of the cart because they didn’t have enough money. “The car repair made us extra short this month,” said the man, red with embarrassment and shame, as he repeatedly ran his debit card through the machine until finally it worked.
When they left, the cashier was shaking her head and said to me, “I just wish there was something I could do to help them.” My thoughts exactly!
What I witnessed is not uncommon for many Iowans today. One in eight Iowans – approximately 400,000 – is food insecure, meaning they lack the resources to live an active and healthy lifestyle. One out of 5 Iowa children does not know where his next meal will come from. Many of these individuals have been faced with a job loss or unforeseen expense that has brought on the burden of wondering how they will put food on their tables.
During my time at the Food Bank of Iowa, I have wondered what more can be done to help those in need. What am I not doing to make this problem go away? Thankfully, I am reminded and inspired by the compassion and support I see each day. Individuals, businesses, organizations and civic groups show support through monetary donations and food drives; volunteers generously donate their time; and advocates speak about the issue of hunger and its impact on struggling Iowans.
Today especially I’m excited to announce a partnership with the Iowa National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA) on the Cold Run for Warm Meals, a 2.5-mile run with all proceeds benefitting the Food Bank of Iowa. The fun begins at 9 AM on Saturday, March 29, when Confluence Brewery opens for non-runners. (That’s right! It’s just as fun to be part of the cheer squad!) The race beings at 9:30 with awards to be presented at 10:30 AM. Create a team or register individually.
Together, we can help their neighbors, colleagues, friends and family members struggling with food insecurity!