Iowa egg farmers through their "Cracking Hunger" program have maintained their commitment of approximately 35,000 dozen eggs each month to Iowa's Food Bank System. Even during COVID-19, when shell eggs are short, egg farmers have maintained this commitment and increased it to a total of 45,000 dozen per month. Iowa egg farmers are anticipating approximately 6 ½ million eggs to be donated in 2020.
In addition, Iowa's egg community is working to increase contributions to food banks of liquid eggs and hard-boiled eggs. Many of Iowa's egg farmers have also offered Personal Protective Equipment from their inventories for local hospitals and healthcare workers.
All Iowa egg farmers, through Iowa Egg Council, have contributed to donations to the food banks. Rose Acre Farms, Sparboe Foods, Versova, Center Fresh, Daybreak Foods, Oskaloosa Foods, Michael Foods, Centrum Valley, and Hy-Line have contributed individually toward Cracking Hunger. Egg producers are also going above their commitments to the state-wide Food Banks and are actively engaged in events and additional food donations in their local communities.
Donations are going to the Food Bank of Iowa, and the Iowa Food Bank Association, other local food pantries and schools. At her April 10, 2020 press conference, Governor Kim Reynolds acknowledged their donations saying, "Iowa Egg farmers continue their commitment to providing 35,000 dozen eggs each month."
Additionally, Iowa's egg farmers are contributing resources to support the recently announced "Pack the Pantry" grant program. Due to COVID-19, Iowa food pantries have seen increasing food demands. Through Pack the Pantry, food pantries can apply for grants to increase their refrigeration capacity, which allows them to offer more eggs and other perishable, locally-grown foods.
The program is made possible by CARES Act funding and is an initiative of Gov. Reynolds' Feeding Iowans Task Force led by Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg.
"Iowa's egg farmers and egg community take very seriously their role in feeding the world. It strikes a nerve for them when they hear of Iowans that might be going to bed hungry at night or not getting the protein they need in their daily diets. I am so proud of their ongoing efforts, through Cracking Hunger, but even more proud of their additional efforts during these trying times," said Kevin Stiles, Executive Director, Iowa Egg Council.
Packed with 13 vitamins and minerals, 6 grams of high-quality protein for only 70 calories per egg, eggs contain antioxidants that help prevent vision loss, as well as choline, an essential nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and adult brain function.