The Puente Family Creates The Hug Fund

posted on Thursday, November 21, 2019


“I remember all too well the uncertainly around how we would pick ourselves up and carry on our lives,” recalls Liz Puente.

Five years ago to this day, Liz and her two children lost a beloved husband and a caring father. Iowa Select Farms lost a family member, too.

When Liz found herself dealing with the unimaginable—Sergio’s sudden death—many people close to their family stepped in to help. “In the days and weeks following his death, there were people who helped us in so many countless ways,” said Liz. “We were the recipients of kindness and generosity of others. We were able to keep our little household afloat while we dealt with the loss and grief.”

Today, Liz, Addy and Sergio Ethan Puente announce a donation of $10,000 to establish the Sergio Puente Hug Fund.

The Hug Fund was created by the Puente family to pay that kindness forward and help other Iowa Select Farms employees facing financial stress immediately after an unforeseen personal hardship.

“When I met Sergio, he was heading to his first interview with Iowa Select Farms,” recalled Liz. “He was so excited to get the job. During the 13 years, I was with him, it was his only job—our family became part of the Iowa Select Farms family.”

Liz said she’ll never forget the Adventureland and Iowa State Fair days and the concerts and sporting events they experienced together. “They were our dates before we were married, then became our family vacations when we had children. I cherish those memories.”

Sergio was well known by his co-workers for how much he cared—he loved his job, he loved his people and he made every day better.

As a farm manager, his enthusiasm for pork production was contagious, motivating his teams and peers to push forward even when it didn’t seem possible. And during the most challenging times, it was Sergio who reminded all of us to stop, breathe and appreciate each other and the good things around us.

Tonight and tomorrow we’ll be sharing memories of Sergio, as told by a few of the people who worked with him.

We’d like to thank Liz, Addy and Sergio Ethan Puente for their amazing strength, thoughtfulness and kindness extended to Iowa Select Farms on this difficult anniversary. Sergio, we miss you.