Who donates 15.2 million pounds of food, contributes $6.24 million to hunger programs and volunteers 65,000 hours to fight hunger at home and abroad? Iowans, that’s who. Their efforts were celebrated at the first Iowa Hunger Summit Oct. 16, part of World Food Prize festivities. ISU Extension was one of the partnering groups sponsoring the event. In the weeks leading to the summit, ISU Extension county and field staff encouraged Iowans throughout the state to share their stories of fighting hunger via their local organizations or the summit’s Web site.
Leaders from across Iowa participated in the summit, representing community organizations, business and industry, state and local government, social agencies, churches and religious communities, schools and universities, and other groups that lead or participate in projects to confront hunger. Jack Payne, vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach, and Susan Klein, ISU Extension nutrition and health field specialist, represented ISU Extension at the event.
“Extension educates Iowans about food and nutrition, as well as food insecurity and hunger facing Iowa families. So it was very fitting that Extension help sponsor the Hunger Summit,” Klein said. “As community leaders, Extension staff know the importance of providing help for all people including those facing hunger. Between 2003 and 2006 the use of local food pantries and community kitchens in Iowa increased 36 percent. This issue is not going to be solved easily.”
For more information, contact Klein, firstname.lastname@example.org.