A coalition of Iowa farmers, businesses and agricultural organizations are helping bring new meaning to “home for the holidays.”

This week this coalition announced a goal to purchase up to 48 pre-made homes, as well as providing Meals from the Heartland, for earthquake ravaged victims in Haiti.  The housing units were designed and are being manufactured by Sukup Manufacturing Co., a family-owned company headquartered in our hometown of Sheffield.

Each pre-made home, called a SafeTHome, measure 18-feet wide by 14-feet tall and can sleep 10 or more people.  Made entirely of metal, the structure is resistant to termites and moisture.  Each one features two windows, which can be locked from the inside.  Plus, a double-roofed system displaces heat.

More than 1.6 million Haitians have been without homes since the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit their country on Jan. 12, 2010.  Nearly 80% of Haitians live in poverty.  Their need is great.

“When you learn of their struggles, you’re moved to act,” Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds is quoted in a recent Wallaces Farmer article.  “Working together, we can make a real and positive impact in a way that’s uniquely Iowa.”

Reynolds and Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey are co-chairing the “Special Delivery: Homes. Help. Hope. For Haiti.” campaign, which is being coordinated by the Iowa Food & Family Project.  You can get involved in this campaign, too!  “Special Delivery: Homes, Help, Hope. For Haiti.” runs through spring 2012. To make a donation, log on to

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