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Crisis Center Aims to Feed 18K

JOHNSON COUNTY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - The Johnson County Fair is a place where families show up to have fun and to feast, sometimes on a sandwich from the Johnson County Pork Producers.

"We have smoked pork loin, pork burgers, brats, hot dogs," said farmer Bill Meyer.

Still, more than 14 percent of Johnson County couldn't chow down on what the pork producers are grilling up. Meyer isn't surprised -- he sees it all the time.

"You got to realize, we're a nonprofit organization, we donate to Big Brothers, Big Sisters, we do a lot of (nonprofits)," he said. "Our leftovers, stuff like that, we try to give them to Table to Table."

Those are the kind of donations that the Crisis Center of Johnson County wants to see more of during its annual Thanksgiving in July food drive. The goal is to 80,000 pounds of food -- 12,000 more than the center was able to raise last year.

The Crisis Center is taking both food and cash donations, and every dollar that gets donated can buy four pounds of food. To reach their goal, the Crisis Center will need $20,000.

"You know, there are 18,000 people in the county that are food insecure, and we would really like to have enough food to meet the needs of everyone in the county that needs that service," said Crisis Center development coordinator Sandy Pickup.

The numbers resonated with a local group of 13-year-olds, who were meeting up and buying snow cones at the fair. They recently raised money for the Solon food pantry through their baseball team. People in rural areas like Solon are often the hardest to help feed, because they don't have the same access of those who live in cities, Pickup said.

"It's not fair, they should have something to eat," said Ben McAtee, 13.

"People should start donatin gmore to the food pantries," said McAtee's friend, Mason Stahle, 13.
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