Help for the Hungry

December 17, 2012 | Peggy Martin


I am concerned that almost one in five Iowa children live in poverty.  We don’t like to think about anyone going hungry at any time of the year, and especially not during the holidays.

Food pantries and the food banks that supply them are grateful for all kinds of donations and help: food, money, volunteer time, and advocacy for reducing hunger.

If you want to give the food items that are the most needed, they are canned fruit and vegetables, canned meat, peanut butter, hearty soups and stews, toilet paper, baby formula, baby diapers, laundry detergent, and toothpaste.  Please don’t give dented cans, expired items, and other food you wouldn’t eat. Sorting these foods out and disposing of them consumes precious resources.

If you can afford to make a financial donation, food pantries and food banks can make your money stretch.  One food bank says they can purchase 2-6 times more  food than what you can purchase at the store because of wholesale and bulk buying.  The Food Bank of Iowa estimates that a donation of $1 will provide 4 meals.

The Iowa Food Bank Association (IFBA) is a collaboration of the eight Feeding America Food Banks that serve all  99 counties in Iowa. (see map)  Together, the food banks serve over 1,000 non-profit organizations serving ill, infant, or needy individuals. These organizations include food pantries, emergency meal sites, congregational meal sites, emergency shelters, and other sites that provide food to clients. The IFBA website can help you do the following:

  • Find a list of food pantries in each of the food bank’s service areas… Or just call 211 and you will find the closest food pantry and their hours of operation.
  • Donate money using a convenient form for credit card donation.
  • Find various opportunities to volunteer.

Peggy Martin

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