On Opening Day, August 8, the Iowa State Fair will host a one-day meal-packaging event in partnership with Meals from the Heartland, the Iowa Soybean Association, the Iowa Food and Family Project and GROWMARK. The Fair’s goal is to package 250,000 meals to help alleviate life-threatening hunger around the world. The event is funded in part by the soybean check-off.

The event is part of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions’ "Dream Big" food drive hosted by fairs throughout the world. Together, participants hope to collect 20 million pounds of food – enough to fill the daily food needs of nearly six million people.

The Fair is collecting monetary donations to help purchase supplies for the packaged meals. In addition, 1500 volunteers are needed to commit to packaging meals for one-hour shifts from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Fair’s opening day. To donate or volunteer, please visit iowastatefair.org.

Meals from the Heartland is a non-profit organization committed to providing meals for food-insecure families around the world. Since their initial launch in 2008, the organization has packaged more than 31 million meals which have been distributed locally through Iowa food pantry partners as well as shipped throughout the world.