DES MOINES, Iowa — For Giving Tuesday, Central Iowa Shelter and Services partnered with Fareway and the Iowa Pork Producers Association for a Give a Ham breakfast where they fed over 350 people.

At the event, elected officials and community leaders came to volunteer and serve food to those in the shelter.

Melissa O’Neil, Central Iowa Shelter and Services CEO, said that the shelter looks forward to the breakfast every year.

“It’s been six years now that we’ve been coming together to do this,” O’Neil said. “The aromatherapy of bacon does something good for the heart and for the soul and gets people up and moving in a way that is non-traditional when it comes to our shelter.”

Fareway and the Iowa Pork Producers Association worked with the shelter to provide hundreds of pounds of bacon and sausage as well as eggs and other foods.

O’Neil said that the breakfast does a lot of good for the shelter, but people can get involved year-round with volunteer opportunities.

“Really a lot of the work that’s done here in our emergency shelter is done by volunteers. Prior to covid, we had around 3,000 volunteers annually,” O’Neil said. “January and February is probably when we’re going to be in our greatest need the weather is colder the numbers in the shelter increase dramatically. That’s where our volunteer help is critical.”

To get involved as a volunteer at Central Iowa Shelter and Services visit their website.