A large local business has made another large donation to an area food shelf. Yesterday morning Hormel Plant Manager Troy Hawkshead presented Helping Hands Founder Pastor Bob Smith a check for $5,000. The monetary donation will allow the pantry to purchase roughly 25,000 pounds of food for area families in need. Late last year the Knoxville Hormel plant donated more than 10,000 pounds of food to the Helping Hands Food Pantry as part of the KNIA/KRLS food drive.
Hawkshead says the money comes from Hormel’s corporate initiative to help alleviate hunger in the communities in which their plants are located. He says we all face issues on a daily basis but wondering where our next meal will come from should not be one of them. Hawkshead says everyone at the Knoxville plant takes their role very seriously and there are giving people at every level in the company.
Smith says this donation is proof that Christ is alive and working through the hearts of people in Marion County. He says it is the love, sharing, giving and volunteering of people locally that help them assist our less fortunate neighbors.
Helping Hands Volunteer Chuck Galeazzi says the Food Bank of Iowa reports that Knoxville is the number one food shelf in the state for the amount of product that is requested and purchased each month. According to Galeazzi, between March of 2010 and last month Helping Hands purchased 151,324 pounds of food through the state food bank. They also receive food from the Help Us Stop Hunger, or HUSH, program that allows hunters to donate their meat to local meat lockers who then pass the food on to area food shelves. In the last year, Helping Hands received more than 30,000 pounds of food from that program along with the more than 21,000 pounds of food from Walmart that has been received from the Feed America program since January.
Julie H. Craven, Vice President of Corporate Communications at Hormel Foods says they are committed to combating the persistence of hunger in the U.S. She says each community has its own challenges, which is why they believe their plants can work with organizations on a grassroots level to help meet the residents’ needs and end hunger.
Hawkshead says it’s doing the right thing when no one is looking that really makes a difference. Smith says they are so grateful for the donation and being able to have the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Marion County.