Iowa FFA Association and Meals from the Heartland to Package


Iowa FFA Association to Package
250,000 Meals at State Leadership Conference

AMES, IA – The Iowa FFA Association and Meals from the Heartland are proud to announce that they will partner together to package 250,000 meals at the 86th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa on Sunday, April 27th and Monday, April 28th. 2014 marks the third year these two organizations have engaged in this partnership.

More than 1,500 FFA members from throughout Iowa, in addition to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, are expected to volunteer in this effort to package 250,000 rice-soy meals.

This packaging event is made possible with support from the Iowa FFA Foundation and its partners: the Iowa Food and Family Project, a part of the Iowa Soybean Association and GROWMARK.

About the Iowa FFA Association

The Iowa FFA Association has 219 local chapters with over 14,200 FFA members. FFA is a national organization of nearly 580,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in science, business and technology of agriculture. FFA’s mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

About Meals from the Heartland

Meals from the Heartland is a non-profit organization composed of volunteers who package meals for delivery to starving people in Iowa, the United States and around the world. Since 2008, Meals from the Heartland has provided more than 40 million meals to the food insecure. Meals from the Heartland conducts meal packaging events year round throughout central Iowa as well as at its packaging center in West Des Moines.

Waukee High School Hunger Banquet

On April 16, 2014 Waukee High School students participated in a Hunger Banquet at the school.  The 150 students were divided into three groups representing the world’s population.  The smallest group of students were served a five course meal and represented the world’s upper class.  The middle group of students was able to have Meals from the Heartland rice and soy meals along with bread.  The largest group of students, representing those living in poverty, were given only rice and water and sat on the floor to eat.

At the conclusion of the banquet, 60 of the students conducted a Hunger Fight and packaged 17,064 Meals from the Heartland rice soy meals.  The students raised funds to cover the cost of meals packaged.

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St. Joseph’s Catholic School Good Friday Hunger Fight

For the fourth year in a row, in what has become a Lenten service tradition, St. Joseph’s Catholic School middle school students packaged around 30,000 meals on Good Friday at our new packaging center. Students wore special “Keep Calm and Feed the Hungry” t shirts as they happily packaged meals. The 85 students in 5th through 8th grades raised over $3,000 this school year to fund the cost of these meals. These funds were then matched 100% through the Meals from the Heartland Youth Grant program.






Birdies for Charity and Meals from the Heartland


We are excited to announce that we have been approved as a participating charity in the Birdies for Charity program, a part of the Principal Charity Classic.

Please consider making a pledge to Meals from the Heartland through the Birdies for Charity program and increase the value of your donation by 25%!

All you need to do is make a pledge online at . You are able to pledge an amount for each birdie or just donate a flat amount. Donations can also be made through a donor advised fund.

Details of the program

Birdies for Charity is a fundraising program designed to give participants an opportunity to generate contributions based on the number of “birdies” made by the Champions Tour players during the 2014 Principal Charity Classic.

Beginning April 5th, anyone who pledges to a charity in the program will be entered into a drawing to win a new Smoker Grill donated by John Deere Financial! The contest is designed with you in mind! This is a perfect opportunity for you to pledge to your favorite charity and have a chance to win a great prize. The contest will end on May 2nd, 2014.

If a charity reaches a total of $1,500 in flat donations they are eligible to receive a 25% match of total pledges collected up to $25,000 in collected pledges. The top 25 charities will also receive additional bonus bucks, up to $2,500.

By making a pledge, you have the opportunity to guess the number of birdies made by the Champions Tour players in The Principal Charity Classic. If you guess the correct number of birdies made, you have an opportunity to win a D130 Lawn Tractor, donated by John Deere Financial. Void where prohibited by law.

A pledge can be made online at or by picking up a pledge form from our office.

We appreciate your participation.

Special Shift Hunger Fight at Packaging Center!

Volunteers from Urbandale, Windsor Heights, Ankeny, Johnston, West Des Moines and Des Moines joined us this morning to package meals at our new packaging center during one of our special open shift events.  We even had a couple of area high school students pack meals during a break in their schedule.  Go to our website and sign up today to package meals in April and May during one of our special shifts at the new packaging center.

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First school bus in our parking lot!

Valley Church April 2014 Valley Church School Bus April 9 2014 Valley Church

Valley Church Route 56 packaged 6,912 meals in the first ever Wednesday night church youth group packaging event. Ten adults and 62 of the most well behaved 5th and 6th graders around rode the bus to our new building and successfully kicked off our special Church Youth Group Program!

Call or email us to find out how your church youth group can be involved! Call 473-9530 or

Boys and Girls Club delivery April 3rd

Meals from the Heartland is honored to partner with the Boys and Girls Club Feeding the Future program. This week 5,184 of our meals were donated to this program.

Each week the Boys and Girls Club provides a backpack of food for children to take home to help feed their family. We are very excited to be apart of this.

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Humboldt Basketball Shootout

Misc Jan - March2014 124Meals from the Heartland is excited to be coming to Humboldt for a two day community meal packaging event on April 11th and 12th.  Read about the great fundraising idea that St. Mary’s School did to help raise funds to purchase the ingredients!


A Community Basketball Shoot Out was held in the St. Mary School Gym in Humboldt to raise funds for the upcoming community wide Meals from the Heartland packaging event.  Free will donations were taken with all proceeds going to Meals from the Heartland to fund the cost of the meals to be packaged.  Students in Grades 5 and up participated with awards given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  Baked goods were also sold.  The students will also volunteer to help package the meals.  See some of the photos from this fund event!

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Special Church Youth Group Program


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Special Church Youth Group Program

Meals from the Heartland is committed to engaging and encouraging youth to become involved in the fight against hunger. We are excited to announce a special youth group meal packaging program on Wednesday evenings at our new packaging center. Every Wednesday evening has been set aside specifically for church youth groups to package up to 5,000 meals. Please call (515) 473-9530 or email to reserve a Wednesday night for your youth group and for more information on this special program.

MEALS from the HEARTLAND Mobile Event

First Presbyterian Church, Fort Dodge, IA.

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The Meals from the Heartland mobile event held at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Dodge was AMAZING with 180 volunteers packaging 37,800 meals in less than two hours!  Seventeen teams represented the congregation, the schools and community.  Special thanks to three local 4H clubs who not only helped pack the meals but also donated funds.

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These young people brought a group of friends with them and made this event part of their 14th birthday party.  Every time they filled another box you could hear, “Happy Birthday!”

During Faith Alive time five teams of preschoolers through senior high youth packed meals.    This was the fourth annual Meals from the Heartland mobile event at First Presbyterian.  A big “thank you” goes out to all the leaders and volunteers who made this event a great success.

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We have a new goal for 2014 - 10 million meals! We packaged almost 8.7 million meals in 2013. To date in 2014, we have packaged 1,489,272 meals and are 15% of our goal!!!