‘Together We CAN!’ Cookout to highlight July 15 Summer Iowa Games Finals Fest

(Ankeny, Iowa – June 29, 2011) – A “Together We CAN!” Cookout celebrating food and farming and benefiting the Iowa Food Bank Association (IFBA) will be a highlight of the Summer Iowa Games Finals Fest and opening ceremony Friday, July 15 in Ames.

The Cookout, coordinated by the Iowa Food & Family Project, will be held 5-7:30 p.m. in parking lot B6 north of Jack Trice Stadium on the Iowa State University campus. It will feature entertaining and educational activities for all ages and a grilled beef and pork burger supper including milk, eggs and fruit. The dinner will be served for a free-will donation benefiting the IFBA and Iowans in need of food assistance.

Opening ceremony keynote speaker, Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson of Des Moines, will also be available at the Cookout site for photos and autographs. The Chicago Boyz Acro Team and the Des Moines Isiserettes will also be performing in lot B6 during the hours of the Cookoff.

“Together We CAN!” Cookout sponsors include the Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Egg Council, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Turkey Federation, Midwest Dairy Association, United Soybean Board and Iowa Food Bank Association.

“As Presenting Sponsor of the Iowa Games, we’re delighted to be a part of its 25th anniversary celebration,” says Aaron Putze, coordinator of the Iowa Food & Family Project and director of external relations for the Iowa Soybean Association. “We encourage all opening-ceremony attendees, participants and fans to stop by Finals Fest and the Cookout, enjoy a delicious and nutritious dinner and offer a helping hand to Iowans who are food insecure.”

Healthy, nutritious and affordable food is essential for human development and vitality and no one is more committed or involved in providing it than Iowa’s farmers, Putze says.

“The Iowa Food and Family Project’s presenting sponsorship of the Iowa Games provides timely opportunities for farmers and consumers to have conversations about these shared interests and to partner in providing food assistance to those in need.”

An analysis released earlier this year by Feeding America estimates that 380,000 Iowans, or nearly 13 percent of the state’s population, are food insecure or struggle against hunger. Food insecure Iowans miss an average of 167 meals each year, or nearly 56 days with no breakfast, lunch or dinner.

For more information, log on to www.iowafoodandfamily.com or “follow” the Iowa Food & Family Project at www.facebook.com/foodnfamilies.

The Iowa Food & Family Project is an activity-led, purpose-driven initiative dedicated to nurturing positive and enduring relationships between farmers and consumers through personal engagement and advocacy. It involves more than 20 farm, retail and food relief organizations and celebrates the continuous improvement of Iowa’s farmers and their commitment to providing healthy food for everyone. It’s funded in part by the Soybean Checkoff.

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