CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) — Cedar Valley community members traveled the world through flavors Oct. 24th, as they tested homemade dishes from several different countries. All the proceeds from the event go towards the Northeast Iowa Food Bank’s “Backpack Program,” which provides food to kids who rely on nearly just school meals for their food.
The program gives kids meals they can prepare themselves that they can eat on weekends or other days school is not in session. The food fair started when Dr. Chitra Reedy moved to Cedar Falls, and her children told her about the program after school.
“I couldn’t imagine, a kid going home and worrying about what they’re going to eat,” Dr. reedy said.
Alisha Rulapaugh, the Director of Engagement for NEIA says people commonly assume that Iowa would be rich with food because of its location.
“Food insecurity for children is a big, it’s huge in Northeast Iowa where we’re farming country right? You wouldn’t think that children would be in need of food.”
Dr. Chitra Reedy is an endocrinologist at Unity Point, with a born passion to help others, sparking her idea to start the food fair. The first fair was just Indian foods, but this year countries represented were India, Pakistan, Bosnia, the Philippines, Italy and Iran.
Alisha Rulapaugh said lot of the time, people are unaware of how food insecure the community is, especially in children. For twenty dollars, the Cedar Valley could feed themselves and a child in need.
“Food insecurity doesn’t discriminate,” she said.
Dr. Reedy says she hopes more cultures volunteer for the next one.
“We’ve been doing this for seven years, and we want to grow.” she said.
To read more about the fair and keep up to date with their events, visit their Facebook here.