Today Business Publications Corp., parent company of the Business Record and dsm Magazine, announced the Iowa Stops Hunger campaign, a statewide project that will leverage both publications to create awareness and inspire action to combat hunger in Iowa. 

The initiative emerged after conversations with community leaders and those whose work involves food insecurity pointed to the enormousness of this issue, especially with the economic uncertainty of the pandemic and disproportionate impact on marginalized populations. With presenting sponsor Hy-Vee, this is a 12-month, statewide initiative with panels, editorial coverage in every product, a dedicated issue of the Business Record on Aug. 14, videos, a website, social media, a custom magazine and a Corporate Challenge.

To understand how hunger relates to our community and business, look no further than a Business Record story from January on the Des Moines Area Religious Council’s data dashboard, which showed food pantry use had been steadily on the rise since 2012 in every area of the region. Hunger directly relates to poverty, which affects nearly every part of someone’s life. “I’m trying to bring organizations together that are working on some spoke of the poverty wheel, so we can try to get at these root causes. … How do we get into those deeper problems, [to address] housing costs and how do we get to livable wages and how do we handle some of these child care costs? All of these costs have continued to increase and increase, and family incomes haven’t kept up with that,” DMARC CEO Matt Unger said earlier this year.  

The World Food Prize Foundation’s leaders also are working on collaborative efforts on the interconnectivity of hunger and poverty. “The mission of the World Food Prize is more relevant today than at any time, in my opinion,” said Barbara Stinson, president of the foundation. “Global food security is top of mind for everyone, because we know we need to feed approaching 9 billion people by 2050. And it has captured the work of so many. 

“We understand now that we have to address the entire food system in order to be able to do that, which means that not only do you have to be growing better food and more of it, but it’s also got to be more nutritious, and the distribution has to be strong, and the food has to be safe. The environmental consequences have to be addressed, and the impacts of climate change on agriculture have to be addressed if we’re going to meet this goal. So I feel like I’m taking on this challenge at a really tremendous time in history to try to contribute more to solving that problem.”

Future coverage in the Business Record will address the cyclical effects of hunger and poverty. If you have a story idea, contact me at emilybarske@bpcdm.com or 515-661-6085. Learn more about Iowa Stops Hunger.

Watch the video here.