With the help of Iowa law enforcement personnel, hundreds of Iowa families struggling with food insecurity will have a happier Thanksgiving. On November 26, law enforcement officials from across the state met to pack holiday meal kits for 800 families who otherwise might not have enough to eat this holiday season.

Working in an assembly line, more than 70 officers from eight law enforcement agencies across the state packed meals for families in their communities. After the event finished, kits were loaded in officers’ vehicles and delivered to eight locations across Iowa. Families in Des Moines, West Des Moines, Dubuque, Mason City, Marshalltown, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Spencer will receive the Thanksgiving meals.

“We’ve grown this to eight locations. That might not seem like a lot, but we’re powerful,” said Capt. Ken Clary with the Iowa State Patrol and the Food Bank of Iowa board. “We’re proud of these officers for being wonderful partners in the fight against hunger.”

Some meals were delivered directly to families in need. Others went to meal sites where they can be picked up before the holiday. And with more than one in nine Iowans and one in seven children struggling with food insecurity, the kits are much needed.

Meal kits were sponsored in part by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Thousands of pounds of donated pork added much-needed protein to the meal. This is the first year the association has participated in the event.

“We’re happy to be a part of Arresting Hunger this year. We want to show we care and that we want to help our community,” said Trent Thiele, president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. “It was an easy decision to help out, and we appreciate the opportunity to be involved.”

Murphy Tower Service, one of the original sponsors of Arresting Hunger, provided additional funds to make the event possible. Other event sponsors included Costco, Fareway, Hy-Vee, JBS, Kwik Star, Prairie Fresh, Sam’s Club, Tyson Foods and Walmart.

“What these officers have done for the last five years is important,” said Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa. “Collaboration is one of our core values at Food Bank of Iowa. And nothing shows collaboration like what we accomplished together today.

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