DES MOINES, Iowa — If you were in Des Moines’ east village Sunday, you couldn’t miss the smell of barbecue coming from Brenton Skating Plaza.
The Food Bank of Iowa held its annual Smoke Out Hunger event to build awareness around food insecurity in Iowa. The event is in its fourth year and visitors say it continues to grow bigger.
“Last year there were about this many people at the end of the day and today at 11:00, everyone is here right now,” Des Moines resident Maggie Glisan said.
The Food Bank of Iowa said more than 500 people came out to the event. Ticket prices were $45 and guests could choose from 14 local food and craft beer vendors. Live music and superhero actors kept people entertained in between bites.
The Food Bank of Iowa said summertime is the hardest time for families dealing with food insecurity.
“Right now, with kids out of school, it’s summertime, we have about 175,000 food insecure Iowans we serve. One in six is a child that doesn’t have enough food in their household to keep them full day in and day out,” Food Bank of Iowa CEO Michelle Book said.
The Food Bank of Iowa’s goal was to raise enough money to provide over 200,000 meals. A dollar provides up to four meals to Iowans in need.