The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation has kicked off their annual effort to Haul Out Hunger across rural Iowa. Iowa Select Farms employees are delivering 60,000 pounds of fresh, boneless pork loins to 120 rural food pantries. The Nevada Community Cupboard, Cambridge Food Pantry and Huxley/Kelley Food Pantry received 192 pork loins—enough to provide 3,840, 4-oz. servings of pork. Along with the fresh protein, a new Foundation program called Henry’s Heroes will bring basic childhood needs to the food pantries.
“The unfortunate reality is that too many Iowans are in need, especially during the summer months. We hope the pork loins and supplies from Henry’s Heroes will bring some,” said Jeff Hansen, president and CEO of Iowa Select Farms and co-founder of the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation. “As farmers, we passionately believe in giving back to the communities where our employees and contractors live and work.”
Henry’s Heroes Program brings children’s personal care items to hospitals, food pantries and women and children’s shelters. The program was inspired by Henry Johnson, Jeff and Deb Hansen’s grandchild, and the son of Natalie and Jake Johnson. Natalie had the vision for Henry’s Heroes after she and Jake organized a donation of Henry’s baby shower items to Blank Children’s Hospital.
“We have all witnessed the pain in our world from the lack of even the most basic needs to raise a child, even in our own communities,” said Natalie. “From basics like bottles and diapers to more fun items like books, toys, and the cutest clothes, Henry’s Heroes brings joy to children and their caretakers when they are in most need.”
Debbie Tillman, food pantry coordinator at the Lenox Neighborhood Center, explained that families in need struggle to secure necessities. “A lot of the essential items infants and children need may not be covered by food stamps or government nutritional programs.”
During the six days when “Haul Out Hunger” was on the road, June 17-19 and 24-26, Iowa Select Farms employees delivered 1,022 cases of meat and 120 Henry’s Heroes packages. Each meat case contains 12 pork loins, which will provide 240,000, four-ounce servings of nutritious pork for families in need.
Henry’s Heroes items will also be included in the Foundation’s Little Free Pantries that will be established this summer across rural Iowa.