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Food Bank of Iowa | News Updates


Twice a week throughout the summer and fall we will be harvesting fresh produce at the Gardening for Good garden in Madrid. Gather your friends, family or colleagues and help us fight hunger! All ages are welcome!

For the second year, the Blackmer family in Madrid has donated several acres of land to grow fresh produce for the Food Bank of Iowa to distribute. For low-income individuals and families, fresh produce is isn't always an option due to the cost and availability. With the help of the Blackmer family, we are able to provide fresh, nutrient produce to those in need.

Each summer the Food Bank of Iowa receives thousands of pounds of fresh produce (over 10,000 last year!) from the gardens at the Newton Correctional Facility, the Blackmer farm in Madrid and corporate gardens. Volunteers are needed to help rinse, sort and bag produce for easy pick up for partner agencies, mobile pantries and fresh produce stand.

The Food Bank of Iowa is hosting a farmer's market style produce stand in Adel 4 at the Kinnick Feller Park. The fresh produce stand will be offered each Wednesday through September 24 from 12:30 - 1 :30 pm . Volunteers are needed to help set-up food stand, greet and assist clients, and tear down food stand.

Become a volunteer-it's easy!

Almost 390,000 Iowans are food insecure, meaning they are not sure if or when their next meal is coming. This includes almost 140,000 Iowa children, or 1 out of every 5 children does not have enough to eat.

Out vision at the Food Bank of Iowa, is a hunger free Iowa. This past year, the Food Bank of Iowa distributed over 10 million pounds of food across 55 counties. To make this possible, the Food Bank of Iowa relies on the support of partner agencies, donors and VOLUNTEERS! . Last year, over 1,000 volunteers donated almost 4,000 hours of their time!

You can help fight hunger across the state and in your community but joining the Food Bank of Iowa's team of volunteers. It's easy- sign up as an individual or gather your family, friends or colleagues. Get started today by visiting our volunteer site, create a profile, view our volunteer opportunities and sign up for shifts!

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • BackPack Program™ Packing
    • Once a month, sacks of kid-friendly, easy to prepare food items are packaged to go home with low-income children on weekends when they do not have access to the federal free and reduced-price meals. This year, over 4,000 children will be served each week at 113 schools in 26 counties.
  • Food Drive Sorting
    • Once a week, newly donated food item is checked for expiration dates, sorted and packaged into boxes for partner agencies to distribute to hungry Iowans.
  • Fresh Produce Stand Volunteer
    • In partnership with Aetna Foundation and Coventry Health, the Food Bank of Iowa is piloting a fresh produce stand each Wednesday through August 13. Each week, the produce stand is set-up farmer's market style and distributes a variety of fresh produce to individuals and families in need.
  • Special Events
    • Throughout the year, the Food Bank of Iowa is invited to participate in various fairs, events and food/fund drives like Yankee Doodle Drive Against Hunger, The Des Moines Arts Festival and the Iowa State Fair. Volunteers help greet and talk to attendees and visitors about the Food Bank of Iowa and our mission to alleviate hunger in Iowa.

    "Why do I volunteer at the Food Bank of Iowa? Pick a reason from the following, they all apply. I have food and others don't, it fills a great need, it is a well organized project, I can do it, I don't play golf." - Pat Kratz, Food Bank of Iowa volunteer

    Volunteer opportunities fill up quickly,

    Questions? Contact Jessica Ireland, volunteer and food drive coordinator, at 515-564-0330.