We were reminded all too well this past summer after the derecho just how important Alliant Energy's work is when we were stuck in the dark for days or weeks on end following the storm. It took help from crews outside the state to get most of us back up and running.

We've also known for decades what a wonderful community resource Hy-Vee is beyond just getting our groceries. That's just the beginning as both companies have announced a new collaboration to fulfill the needs of 2,000 families along the Alliant footprint in Iowa and Wisconsin.

In the past week alone, Hy-Vee has offered 3,000 free holiday "meal kits" to those in need via a drive-through event, while also making a massive donation to HACAP and other midwest food banks.

With Hy-Vee's help, Alliant is set to make a $100,000 donation to organize and deliver 2,000 meal boxes to families in need. 1,000 of them will be distributed in Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Marion, Clinton, Dubuque, Ottumwa, Marshalltown and Mason City, according to KCRG. 1,000 more will go to Wisconsin food pantries.

The Iowa recipients of these meal boxes will be families in the Four Oaks Total Child, family development and self-sufficiency, and foster care programs. Not only will recipients be offered food boxes, but gift certificates will also be distributed for the purchase of meat from a local grocery store.

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