Hy-Vee announced today it has joined a statewide coalition to end human trafficking in Iowa. The Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking (IBAT) initiative is spearheaded by Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate. Hy-Vee and Secretary Pate’s office are working together to raise awareness about this form of modern-day slavery and finding ways to prevent human trafficking.
Hy-Vee will promote IBAT during its Hy-Vee INDYCAR Race Weekend July 22-24 at the Iowa Speedway in Newton.
“Having Hy-Vee join our efforts to end human trafficking in Iowa is crucial,” Secretary Pate said. “As one of the most trusted brands in America, with more than 285 locations across the Midwest, Hy-Vee can make a big impact on curtailing human trafficking in Iowa and the surrounding states. I’m very pleased to have them join this statewide initiative.”
More than 550 businesses and organizations have joined IBAT since its launched in January 2022. Businesses are asked to complete two tasks each year: “Learn Something,” and “Do Something.” Businesses will commit to “Learn Something” by educating employees, customers, and industry partners on the signs and impact of human trafficking in Iowa. Businesses can “Do Something” by empowering more people to take action to prevent human trafficking in Iowa.
“With our footprint across Iowa and the Midwest, we have a large presence in the region,” said Georgia Van Gundy, Hy-Vee’s executive vice president, chief administrative officer and chief customer officer. “For years, we have trained our drivers on what to look for when it comes to the safety of our employees and the general public. The IBAT initiative provides an official program for us and other businesses to be a part of, which will only further protect our communities.”
Membership in IBAT is open to any business or nonprofit organization that operates in the State of Iowa and shares a commitment to taking steps to promote awareness of human trafficking and the Iowa Safe at Home program. Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program for survivors of human trafficking and other violent crimes.
Hy-Vee has been named one of America’s top three favorite grocery stores. Their corporate office is located in West Des Moines.