The quest for 1.8 million anti-hunger advocates and ZERO hungry Iowans
AARP recently released the results from their survey – “Hunger in Iowa: Awareness and Support for State Action”. I was pleasantly surprised by two findings: 1) at least half of all Iowans (18+) have donated money or food to a feeding organization, donated food to a food drive, or gave money directly to an individual; however, up to 32% more Iowans would give if asked, and 2) nearly three-quarters of Iowans say both public and private organizations (and individuals) “should help reduce the number of families at risk for hunger in Iowa”.
As the director of Iowa Food Bank Association, these results come with fireworks and shooting stars. Rallying the troops and forming partnerships is exactly what we need to take on this battle with hunger.
I have a message to all Iowans — follow your heart; join the bandwagon of taking care of your friends and neighbors. This study shows the intense caring power of the human spirit if only we reached out and invited others to take action. We need you to start in your own community and build support – encourage donating to food drives, organizing a food drive, donating money, volunteering, or donating produce.
The study also finds that nearly three-quarters of Iowans say both the public and private sector “should help reduce the number of families at risk for hunger in Iowa”. The key word in the above finding is both — or in other words, all. Tackling hunger takes the whole state – public and private, elected leaders and constituents, and corporations and individuals.
The Iowa Food Bank Association and eight partner Feeding America Food Banks serving the state have a long list of volunteers and advocates (both public and private) that support our mission. However, the state of Iowa has roughly 2.3 million residents over the age of eighteen. Using the findings of this study, we can loosely expect that a 1.8 million Iowans have an interest in donating their energy, voice, or money toward the cause. Similarly, we can loosely assume that 1.69 million Iowans believe that fighting hunger should take the form of a public-private partnership.
Now you see why I get excited! Let’s make a deal – if we, at the food bank association commit to recruiting more volunteers, donors, and advocates, will you commit to encouraging action in your community? Can you imagine the impact 1.8 million Iowans would have as we fight this issue of hunger? Can you imagine a state where all individuals have equal access to food? I can and I think it’s amazing. With your help, we can make this happen!