IOWA FALLS, IOWA (August 8, 2019) — The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation has launched Project: Food and Fellowship, a grant program to aid Iowa-based family-readiness coordinators, child- and youth-program coordinators, and military-community volunteers in creating and hosting social gatherings for active duty, reservists, veterans, Gold Star families, and all military families.
"The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation has supported Iowa members of the Armed Forces for years through our Pork Care Package program, and we are delighted to expand that support in a new, unique way to families and veterans," said Jen Sorenson, communications director for Iowa Select Farms. "With Project: Food and Fellowship, we hope to not just recognize the sacrifices made by military families but help build fellowship by making military and veterans events more special."
The first recipient of a Project: Food and Fellowship grant was the Korean War Veterans Association of Iowa. As part of a memorial service at the Iowa State Capitol on the 66th anniversary of the signing of the armistice ending the Korean War, the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation provided special touches of white rose boutonnieres for the 23 Korean War Veterans present and a memorial wreath.
"The flowers made the ceremony just perfect," said Tina Shaw, a member of the Korean-American community who handled many of the arrangements of the day. "As a Korean-American, I cannot begin to thank these men and women who bravely went off to war nearly 70 years ago."
"Project: Food and Fellowship will help make the social events we put together more fun and memorable by assisting with the cost of food, crafts, and special activities," said Mark Lukasiewicz, Iowa Army National Guard Child and Youth Program Coordinator and Dynamic Systems Technology Coordinator. "We work to make a positive and lasting impact on every military-connected youth across Iowa, and this program will allow us to do even more."
In addition to the Korean War Veterans event, Project: Food and Fellowship recently provided the pork for 1,000 people attending the national conference of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of Iowa.
"As Iowans, we know that good food is the best way to bring people together, and it was amazing to witness how food and fellowship work hand-in-hand," said Ashley Wood, District 4 Director and Event Coordinator for the EANGI. "The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation has once again shown their patriotism and unwavering support of our military."
Project: Food and Fellowship provides grants ranging from $250 to $2,500 for the following types of events:
- community recognition of active, reserve, veteran, and Gold Star Families during significant days and observances for the United States Armed Forces;
- community or unit-based programs that provide unique/special needs to military families — ie adopt a family, back-to-school supplies, children's gifts, etc.
- unit-based holiday or special-occasion gatherings coordinated by unit leadership and/or family-services coordinators;
- community welcome-home or send-off events; and
- military child and youth programs.
Military event coordinators can find more information and complete the funding request form at https://www.iowaselect.com/foundation/food-and-fellowship/.
About the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation
The Hansens, who founded Iowa Select Farms and New Modern Concepts in Iowa Falls, Iowa, established the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation in 2006 to relieve hunger, support military families, and strengthen efforts to find a cure for childhood cancer while improving the quality of life for cancer patients and their families.
About Iowa Select Farms
Iowa Select Farms is the largest pork producer in Iowa and is committed to responsibly producing safe, nutritious, and high-quality pork for their customers and the food companies they serve. The company has 242,000 sows and annually produces 1.5B pounds of pork. With 800 swine farms across the state, Iowa Select Farms is one of the leading economic engines to Iowa's rural communities through employing more than 1,200 people, contracting with more than 650 farmers and supporting hundreds of local businesses throughout the state.