Alliant Energy is helping to spread some extra holiday cheer to families through a new holiday food box program. With a $100,000 donation from Alliant Energy, 2,000 food boxes are being delivered to families across 14 communities in Iowa and Wisconsin – just in time for a special holiday meal.
“This year has been difficult for many families, and we want to do all we can to help especially during the holiday season,” said Julie Bauer, Executive Director of the Alliant Energy Foundation. “On behalf of Alliant Energy and our employees, we’re proud to provide meals from our families to yours. Guided by our purpose-driven strategy to serve customers and build stronger communities, we are partnering with local organizations to help fight hunger.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are visiting food pantries for the first time. According to Feeding America, more than 80 percent of food banks nationwide are serving more people than last year.
In Iowa, Alliant Energy is partnering with area Hy-Vee grocery stores to provide 1,000 food boxes for families in Burlington, Cedar Rapids/Marion, Clinton, Dubuque, Ottumwa, Marshalltown and Mason City. Four Oaks is distributing the boxes to families in their programs such as Total Child, family development and self-sufficiency, foster care and adoption, among others.
Hy-Vee provided the food to Alliant Energy at a discounted rate and assisted with assembling the food boxes. Each box also includes a gift certificate for fresh meat, seafood or dairy products for each family to select at their local Hy-Vee.
Transportation and delivery within the Cedar Rapids/Marion area were provided by Depping Trucking LLC, a dedicated carrier of Travero.
“These holiday food boxes will shine a beacon of hope on those we serve,” said Debbie Craig, Four Oaks Chief Advocacy Officer. “Thanks to the generosity of Alliant Energy, this partnership will show families they are not alone and help them see a way forward in these challenging times. Compassion and unity can be one of our greatest gifts during this joyous season.”
Alliant Energy purchased the food while Second Harvest packed the food boxes and coordinated the delivery to seven food pantries, including Badger Prairie Needs Network (Verona), Caritas (Beloit), Fondy Food Pantry (Fond du Lac), Portage Pantry (Portage), Sheboygan County Food Bank (Sheboygan), Southwestern Wisconsin CAP (Dodgeville) and Waushara County Food Pantry (Wautoma).
In addition to the food boxes, families are receiving a gift certificate to purchase meat from a local grocery store.
“We can’t thank Alliant Energy enough for their continued support in ensuring that our neighbors don’t go hungry. They have helped feed thousands of families in our community,” said Patrick Boyle, Executive Director of the Sheboygan County Food Bank. “Alliant Energy’s efforts to help us meet the dramatic increase in demand for emergency food during this difficult time is even more appreciated. We will never forget the kindness, generosity and love that they continue to share with their neighbors.”
In both states, the food boxes include items for a holiday meal such as potatoes, turkey gravy, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce and ingredients for sugar cookies. The boxes also contain shelf-stable food, including macaroni and cheese and cereal. Overall, nearly 90,000 pounds of food was provided.