‘Beef Up Iowa’ Connects Iowans to Food

A new program is connecting Iowa beef producers with food-insecure Iowans. Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Beef Up Iowa, a new statewide initiative, was launched last week with the goal of connecting Iowa beef producers with food-insecure Iowans. Through the program, students and staff at Iowa State University will process cattle from Iowa beef producers who have limited processing options due to COVID-19.

The meat will be distributed to food bank and food pantry programs across the state. The initial cattle for Beef Up Iowa will be sourced from Iowa 4-H and FFA members.

“From family farms to the grocery store shelves, to our family’s dinner table, our entire food supply chain has been impacted by COVID-19,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a release. “Beef Up Iowa brings high quality, nutritious beef to families in need of food security.”

Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, who heads the Feeding Iowans Task Force, mentioned Beef Up Iowa in a video shown at Tuesday’s dsm July/August virtual unveiling event, where Business Publications Corp.—the publisher of ia, dsm and the Business Record—announced a companywide initiative called Iowa Stops Hunger.

“As we face the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, too many people across our state don’t know where to turn for their next meal,” Gregg said. “No Iowan should ever have to worry where their next meal comes from. And we’re committed to making that proposition a reality.”

Beef Up Iowa will  begin when the first cattle are delivered on July 1. Processing will continue through the summer and for as long as funds remain. The beef will be distributed through the Iowa Food Bank Association and the six Iowa food banks that service the state.

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