By Joe Ruzicka, La Porte-Dysart FFA Growing Communities Chair

Even though Iowa is a world leader in grain and livestock production, 12% of the 1.2 million Iowa households are food insecure, many right here in our community. Food insecurity basically means a household may sometimes have to choose between buying food or other household necessities such as utilities, clothes, or attend to medical needs. The Northeast Iowa Food Bank serves 60-80 families weekly and that number increases yearly and includes an alarming number of senior citizens. We need you, your family, business, church, or group of friends to help.

The La Porte-Dysart FFA Chapter is partnering with OUTREACH in Union, Iowa to organize a food-packaging event to help alleviate food insecurity in our community and Northeast Iowa.  Called the “Hunger Blitz.”The event is scheduled for Sunday afternoon, December 3rd at the La Porte City Historical & Ag Museum in La Porte City. Our FFA chapter has worked with OUTREACH over the last four years packaging food at the Union High School and Middle School and it was a fantastic and fun experience.

Here is how you can help. We would like you, your family, your community organization, church, or business to provide funds and/or manpower to package meals to be distributed through the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. The cost is $.25 per meal (that’s right-just 25 cents!) and is packaged in sealed plastic pouches that contain six meals each. These are put together in an assembly line-like manner with about 10 people per station (see photo above). Depending on the number of groups and people who want to get involved, our goal is to schedule two different packaging shifts on December 3rd, one at 1:30 PM and another at 3 PM.

If you, your family, your organization, church, business, or group of friends would like to participate in this worthwhile event, please e-mail Chapter Advisor, Louis Beck, at l_beck@union.k12.ia.us by November 22. We need how many people in your group are willing to be involved, how many meals your group chooses to finance, and who the contact person is. If you or your group wants to just contribute money to purchase meals, our FFA members will gladly package the meals.

The La Porte-Dysart FFA Chapter hopes to hear from you soon about this exciting opportunity to give back to our communities.