Reflecting On How Far We Have Come: Operation Christmas Meal
Day three of our final fundraising week takes us back to the Christmastime, where Operation Christmas Meal is an annual Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation holiday tradition. The event is held each December at the Iowa State Fairgrounds where Iowa Select Farms distributes 5,000, 4½-pound pork loins to food insecure families.
More than 120 Iowa Select Farms employees hand out the fresh loins during a unique live, on-site radio broadcast featuring WHO Radio personalities Van Harden and Bonnie Lucas of the Van and Bonnie in the Morning show. The project is a joint effort by all to assist in bringing struggling families together for a nutritious holiday dinner.
Prior to the event, Iowa Select Farms’ employees invite families who are part of organizations such as Children and Family Services, Bethel Mission, Hope Ministries, United Way, Joppa Outreach, Food Bank of Iowa, Iowa Food Bank Association and others to come to the fairgrounds to pick up a pork loin.
Event organizers further spread the joy of giving by encouraging those without need to pick up a pork loin and provide it to someone they know who is in need, such as a struggling single mother or an elderly neighbor.
New in 2017, the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation announced Operation Christmas Meal “On The Go”—an additional effort to help families located in rural Iowa. The Operation Christmas Meal Team made visits to Iowa Falls, Webster City, Clarion, Creston, Osceola, Humeston, Parkersburg, Riceville, Osage, Lake City, Sac City, and Pocahontas, giving away 6,000 additional pork loins to Iowans in need.