In late September, 37,008 pounds of Iowa-grown turkey bologna was delivered to three Iowa food banks. Food pantries served by the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, Riverbend Food Bank and Hawkeye Area Community Action Program distributed the turkey bologna to Iowans. Another 37,044 pounds of turkey bologna on Oct. 22 will be delivered to other Iowa food banks.
Iowa food banks have seen record demand for food since the COVID-19 shutdown began in early 2020. The Iowa Food Bank Association is using $100,000 of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act federal funding to purchase products from Iowa turkey producers who were hit hard by the COVID-19-related supply chain disruptions last spring. The Governor’s Feeding Iowans Task Force and the Iowa Department of Agriculture worked with the Iowa Food Bank Association to get the turkey to people in need.
Iowa raises about 12 million turkeys annually, according to the Iowa Turkey Federation. Iowa-grown turkey primarily can be purchased in grocery stores and quick-service restaurants. When sandwich chains saw a decrease in demand due to COVID-19, Iowa turkey farmers saw a direct impact to their markets. The Iowa Turkey to Table distribution program helps fill the void caused by lack of demand during the pandemic.
Helping to feed people in need
“From family farms to the grocery store shelves to the dinner table, our entire food supply chain has been impacted by COVID-19,” Gov. Kim Reynolds says. “Iowa’s turkey industry is playing a critical role in bringing high-quality, nutritious protein to families in need of food security. Thank you to all of our producers and generous members of the community who have continued to step up to help Iowans in need.”
“These turkey deliveries represent another way in which the Feeding Iowans Task Force has been able to team up with Iowa ag producers and food banks to benefit both sides,” says Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg. “This homegrown Iowa turkey helps keep Iowa's food banks stocked with quality protein, and the partnership with the state helps Iowa's turkey producers impacted by COVID-19.”
“When the pandemic hit, COVID-19-related disruptions at meat processing facilities and restaurant closures left Iowa’s turkey farmers with limited markets to sell their protein,” says Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig. “This food security initiative is a win for everyone. It helps fill the demand at Iowa food banks, helps feed Iowa families and provides a market for Iowa’s turkey farmers.”
Iowa’s Turkey to Table program
“The Turkey to Table program is an example of public and private partnerships working together to ensure Iowa-farmed products are utilized and made available to feed Iowans in need of food,” says Linda Gorkow, executive director of the Iowa Food Bank Association. “The pandemic has impacted the lives of many Iowans due to job losses and increased the need for food 30% to 100% across the state. The Turkey to Table program ensures protein is made available to food insecure Iowans. This is a great collaboration in the work to fight against hunger in Iowa.”
More than 1,200 partner agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and schools are a part of the Iowa Food Bank’s partner agency network, all operating under one of six food banks within the state which covers all 99 counties in Iowa.
This program is an initiative of Reynolds’ Feeding Iowans Task Force led by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg. In addition to the turkey purchases that have been completed, Naig and the Iowa Department of Ag have administered other Feeding Iowans Task Force initiatives, including Pass the Pork, Beef Up Iowa and Pack the Pantry, all of which help connect Iowa farmers with food bank feeding programs.Source: Iowa Department of Agriculture, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.