Iowa Soybean Association Responds to Hunger

"Acre of Giving" project complements World Food Prize focus.

Published on: Oct 20, 2008

The Iowa Soybean Association (board of directors has again responded to global hunger by pledging the proceeds of 16 acres of Iowa soybeans to the "Acre of Giving" program. The donations of these board members will build on their 2007 gifts that were instrumental in providing nutritious school meals for 280 children in Ghana for a 115-day school term.

The announcement was made last week, during the annual week of World Food Prize events in Des Moines. Nearly 500 people from around the world attended the 2008 World Food Prize symposium, a discussion of issues related to food and agriculture. Many who attended, or who were speakers making presentations, are policy specialists and experts on food and agriculture.

Iowa works with World Soy Foundation

Using funding from the ISA's "Acre of Giving" program, the World Soy Foundation assisted the North Tangu community in Ghana by providing high-protein soy products, such as textured soy protein, to help meet the protein needs of the children. The program has also built and supplied kitchens, storage units and rain barrels at two schools to create the foundation of an ongoing school feeding program.

In addition, the Acre of Giving funds from ISA made possible community training to combine soy products with locally available products to create foods, such as tomato stews and groundnut soups, which received a 100% acceptability rating from pupils, teachers, parents and school officials.

A district director of the school at North Tongu in Ghana projected the value of the ISA-supported program. "You are going to make it possible for more children to come to school and receive not only a full stomach, but also to get education that will help them escape rural poverty in years to come."

Iowa soybeans make a difference for children

John Heisdorffer is ISA president and a soybean grower from Keota in southeast Iowa. "Iowa soybeans can make a real difference in children's lives around the world," says Heisdorffer. "The two new 2008 World Food Prize Laureates—winners of this year's World Food Prize, are former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and George McGovern. They are to be commended for their leadership in creating global school feeding programs. Iowa soybean growers are pleased to be able to also help with school feeding efforts."

The World Soy Foundation works with private voluntary and non-governmental organizations to deliver soy protein and nutrition education to people who need it around the world. Roy Bardole of Rippey, Iowa, serves as vice chair, and Roy Arends of Alexander, Iowa has also served on the board since its inception.

In addition to the World Soy Foundation, ISA's "Acres of Giving" program helps fight domestic hunger through the Soy for Life Foundation. The Soy for Life Foundation funds research to further the many health benefits of soy. It also funds programs to reach malnourished, under-served and hungry populations in the U.S., as well as developing programs to further educate consumers, food industry professionals and the media on soy protein usage.

An acre of beans can feed a lot of people

One acre of soybeans, approximately 42 bushels, can be used to make more than 2,500 gallons of soymilk or more than 40,000 eight-ounce servings. When converted into defatted soy flour, there is enough high quality protein to meet the minimum daily requirement for 100 people for three months.

These benefits underscore the ability of soybeans to be a source of both food and fuel. Each soybean is about 80% meal (an excellent source of protein), and 20% oil (used to produce biodiesel). In fact, the estimated 104 million gallons of biodiesel made from soybeans in Iowa last year co-produced enough soybean meal to offer 30 billion rations of soy protein for school feeding projects like the one in Ghana.

To donate to "Acre of Giving," please visit www.iasoybeans.com and click on the "Acres of Giving" icon. For more information about the Soy for Life Foundation, visit www.thesoyfoodscouncil.com. To learn more about the World Soy Foundation, visit www.worldsoyfoundation.org.  

Iowans contribute $6.5 million to fight hunger

The 2008 Iowa Hunger Summit was another event that took place during the week of the World Food Prize symposium in Des Moines last week. The annual Iowa Hunger Summit is organized by the World Food Prize Foundation, based in Des Moines.

Over the past year, Iowans from around the state and from various backgrounds contributed at least $6.49 million, over 17.2 million pounds of food and more than 438,000 volunteer hours to combat hunger both at home and abroad.

That announcement of Iowa's total contributions was made at the October 14 summit, which was the second annual Iowa Hunger Summit. This year's summit was attended by more than 400 guests. The numbers of contributions made by Iowans for this year (2007-2008) improved on the 2006-2007 total for food contributions that were announced at last year's Hunger Summit.

"While there is still much to be done in our communities and in communities around the globe, we congratulate Iowans for their efforts and generosity," says Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, which organizes the annual Iowa Hunger Summit. "Everyday Iowans deserve credit for their selfless acts to feed others and we hope that as the Iowa Hunger Summit continues to grow we will continue to see these numbers improve."

Hunger Summit releases this year's results

This year's Iowa contributions to fight hunger are estimated to be:

  • At least $6.49 million have been donated by Iowans to organizations and agencies involved in fighting hunger.
  • 17.2 million pounds of food have been gathered or distributed, both around the state and internationally.
  • Over 438,000 hours have been volunteered to Iowa anti-hunger advocacy projects or programs that provide food to those who need it.
  • Over 100 CROP walks, harvest walks or hunger hikes have been observed.
  • Many Iowans have done fasts in sympathy with those suffering from hunger.
  • Over 1,200 letters have been written to elected officials to raise awareness of the subject and improve access to aid.