Iowa Select Farms and the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation organized an Operation Christmas Meal earlier this month in Des Moines, continuing what has become an annual holiday tradition.

Iowa’s largest pork production company and its foundation handed out 4,000 free pork loin roasts for families in need on Dec. 18 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Vehicles started lining up well before the giveaway began at 5 a.m. a steady stream of traffic passed through to pick up the fresh pork from Iowa Select employees dressed as Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, reindeer and snowmen. Many motorists offered Christmas greetings and took the time to share their personal stories of hardship.

Pork loins were accompanied by a free recipe booklet full of great ideas to prepare a delicious and economical large meal or many small single meals.

WHO Radio also participated in the event, with Van and Bonnie broadcasting live from the fairgrounds.