Des Moines, IA, September 1, 2016
– Jess Kurti’s “Beast of Burden Challenge” will visit the Food Bank of Iowa on Monday, Sept. 6, as part of a nationwide tour of the 200 members of the Feeding America network of food banks. Kurti’s goal is to raise awareness of American food banks and their fight against hunger and poverty.

Kurti plans to tour the Food Bank of Iowa’s Des Moines distribution center and participate in a volunteer activity from 9 to 11 a.m. She plans to visit Hawkeye Area Community Action Program in Hiawatha, Iowa, on Tuesday, Sept. 7, and Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo, Iowa, on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Kurti’s quest began as a volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, located in Orlando.

“At a volunteer appreciation lunch in July of 2014, I asked the President & CEO, Dave Krepcho, a seemingly innocuous question: Had anyone ever volunteered at all the foodbanks in the Feeding America network, 200 foodbanks in all? The answer was ‘No,’” Kurti said.

Since 2014, Kurti has visited about 150 food banks throughout the United States, volunteering at each one. Her Beast of Burden Challenge also includes a goal to run 100 marathons. Kurti has completed 77 so far.

“One in seven people struggle with hunger in the U.S. – that’s 46 million Americans,” Kurti said. “I believe that each person can make a difference for our neighbors in need, by volunteering, donating food, or donating money.”

For media inquiries, contact Danny Akright, communications manager, Food Bank of Iowa, or 515-564-0330.

To learn how you can help fight hunger in your community, visit


About Food Bank of Iowa
The Food Bank of Iowa is a private, not-for-profit organization committed to its mission of alleviating hunger through food distribution, partnership and education. The Food Bank of Iowa distributes donated food and grocery products through Iowa’s largest network of emergency food providers consisting of about 400 partner agencies in 55 counties. Their distribution center in Des Moines serves 42 of these counties, with the remaining 13 counties being served through their redistribution organization, The Food Bank of Southern Iowa. Besides traditional food banking, the Food Bank of Iowa operates four direct service programs: BackPack Program™, Mobile Pantry, School Pantry, and Summer Food Service Program. Additionally, the Food Bank of Iowa conducts two outreach and community engagement programs: Food For Thought and Hunger 101.