No Iowan should go hungry.
It is such a simple statement and almost defies logic in a state that helps feed the world. Yet, despite the abundance of food we produce, there are still many Iowans who wonder where their next meal will come from. It’s not a new problem. Food insecurity has long been an issue in Iowa, and when the pandemic hit last year, it only got worse.
Having gone through periods in my own life when I was not sure how to make ends meet, this issue is personal to me. I grew up during the farm crisis and saw firsthand how individuals and families could plunge into difficult economic circumstances almost overnight. I also witnessed how proud Iowans struggled to admit they couldn’t pay bills or put food on the table. During the pandemic, I thought, “What will happen to those in need during this new, all-encompassing crisis?”
At Business Publications Corporation (BPC), we care deeply about the community. As the pandemic unfolded, we talked about hunger with community leaders. We listened intently. Their words made a deep impression on me and our team members. As the severity of this issue became clear, we were shocked by how little we knew about those who experience food insecurity. We asked ourselves how we could use our voice to create awareness and inspire action around this issue.
In response, BPC last year launched Iowa Stops Hunger. This initiative is an ongoing joint, statewide project among our three flagship BPC publications—the Business Record, dsm magazine and ia magazine—and presenting sponsor Hy-Vee to help fight food insecurity in Iowa.
The publication you hold in your hands is just one element of a much larger initiative, which also includes original reporting, a corporate challenge to engage businesses, a dedicated website (iowastopshunger.com), virtual events, videos, social media and more. The response the first year was tremendous. But we still hear from organizations that the need for awareness and action continues, so we are continuing as well.
I hope you will spend some time with this publication. Our editorial, design and photography teams, along with a talented crew of contributing writers and photographers, has once again created a stellar collection of stories, facts and pictures that we hope will provide both information and inspiration.
Eradicating hunger is a lofty goal, and it will take more than inspiration to get there. It will take action. And all of us have the power to take action, not only by serving our fellow citizens in need but by addressing deeper systemic issues that perpetuate the cycle of poverty that contributes to food insecurity.
If you are so moved, please join us in fighting hunger by giving food, giving funds, or giving of your time. Because no Iowan should go hungry.