Families in need this holiday season received free pork loin roasts donated by the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation/Iowa Select Farms  during a special remote broadcast of the “Van and Bonnie ” program on News Radio 1040 WHO at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Approximately 3,300 fresh, boneless roasts were distributed during the giveaway near WHO Radio’s Crystal Studio on the west end of the Grand Concourse, while supplies lasted. Families in need and those who wished to collect a roast to give to a family in need began lining up at 1:30 a.m. for the giveaway that took place from 5-9 a.m. on a cold December day.
Iowa Select Farms staff members wearing festive Santa hats handed out the roasts, which are approximately 4.5 lb. and each can feed 24 people a 3-oz. serving of high-quality, wholesome pork.
The combined roasts, totaling 14,850 lb. and valued at $28,215, provided approximately 79,200 servings. Once the roasts were distributed, Iowa Select Farms gave away 500 coupons each good for a $10 discount on the purchase of pork in grocery stores. The combined value of the roasts and coupons totaled $33,215.
Iowa Select Farms is collecting expressions of thanks from recipients of the roasts. “I live on a very limited income,” wrote a disabled Vietnam veteran who lives in Des Moines. “By the time I pay my bills and fill my truck with gas, I only have $25 for the rest of the month and I only get paid on the first of the month. This means a lot to me. I thank you very much. May God bless you for your kindness.”
“It’s like getting a visit from Santa Claus after you have stopped believing and it renews your faith,” wrote a Carlisle resident. “This roast will make at least four different meals for my family. At this time when cash is short, it helps a lot! This is a real blessing.”
More than 400,000 Iowans struggle to access sufficient, high-quality food, according to a recent analysis by Feeding America. Because fresh meat and protein are often in short supply, that makes the donation from the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation/Iowa Select Farms even more meaningful, says David Burrier of Hope Ministries.
“As the price of food continues to increase, this generous donation of pork will help feed those who have the most need this holiday season,” adds Burrier, chief development and community relations officer at Hope Ministries. “Throughout the years, Jeff, Deb and everyone at Iowa Select Farms have enabled countless people to have a healthy meal during the holidays. It is through donations like theirs that help us carry out the mission of Hope Ministries to serve the homeless and impoverished three meals a day, 365 days a year.”
Shortly before Thanksgiving, the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation/Iowa Select Farms donated approximately 29,700 lb. of fresh pork loins to local community organizations, food shelves, pantries and food banks across Iowa, including Hope Ministries. With the pork giveaway in December, total donations from the foundation/farm this holiday season will amount to 44,550 lb. of nutritious meat valued at $89,645.
“When there’s a need, there are people ready to help,” says Jeff Hansen, Iowa Select Farms President and CEO. “Our company and employees are dedicated to providing quality, wholesome pork. We couldn’t think of a better time than the holidays to share it with people who can benefit from a helping hand.”
Iowa Select Farms, based in Iowa Falls, is the largest pork producer in Iowa. The company has been producing high-quality pork for 20 years and is committed to meeting or exceeding all requirements in efforts to protect the environment and ensure proper care and well-being of swine.
With nearly 550 swine farms across the state, Iowa Select Farms is one of the leading economic engines to Iowa's rural communities through employing more than 1,000 people, contracting with more than 345 farm families and supporting hundreds of local businesses throughout the state.