April 14, 2020
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Everybody needs to eat and all food starts at the farm. To continue my look at the ways that food makes it to our plates, I set up a socially distanced, quarantine-worthy discussion with Michelle Book, President, and CEO of the Food Bank of Iowa. Michelle is the woman leading the organization that feeding the growing number of food-insecure people during the pandemic.
According to the USDA, 11.1 percent of households were food insecure at some point during 2018. That is an estimated 1 in 9 Americans who were food insecure, equating to over 37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children. Just turn on the news for a few minutes and it’s not hard to guess that it is much greater right now which led us to dig in deeper.
Michelle is from a farm family and has carried that connection through her career, spanning organizations such as Pioneer and John Deere. Four years ago she landed at the Food Bank of Iowa and has been working to strengthen the organization since then. As we talked it is clear she is a knowledgeable and strong leader who is in the exact right position to be helping fight hunger and food insecurity in this unprecedented time.
We talked through the harsh realities of the situation today and here are a few of my takeaways…
We all eat, and that is why farming will always matter. Everybody Eats is where the stories of food and farming intersect. These stories told through my FarmHer lens connect us to our food and more importantly, the people behind it. Everybody Eats is a collection of stories of those who protect our rural communities, who grow our food with extraordinary care, and who provide support, education, and assistance to make sure Everybody Eats.
Experience the other stories of Everybody Eats!
The Food Bank of Iowa is a private, not-for-profit organization striving to meet the critical food needs of a diverse population through approximately 625 partner agencies in 55 Iowa counties who directly serve children, families, and seniors in need. These partner agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless and domestic violence shelters, child and adult care centers, and youth and senior programs. Food Bank of Iowa operates distribution centers in Des Moines and Ottumwa and is a member of the Feeding America national network of food banks.
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