An organization like Food Bank of Iowa cannot function at its best without volunteers. By helping with everything from food sorts to office filing, volunteers allow us to extend our staff. In fact, volunteer time is valued at $24.14 per hour by Independent Sector, an organization that conducts research important to the nonprofit sector.

This year, we’ve added a group of deeply committed hunger fighters to our volunteer program: the Core Crew. Every Tuesday morning, this small group of volunteers comes to our Des Moines distribution center to help us do our work. These tried and true helpers have a special relationship with the food bank, and their contributions are immense.

This past January, our volunteer and events coordinator, Michaela Devaney, formalized something that we already knew: some of our volunteers signed up for volunteer shifts regularly. They had gotten to know our procedures and our staff, and had found a sort of middle ground between paid staff and part-time volunteer. To ensure that we could get the most out of these super volunteers, Devaney created the Core Crew.

“With the Core Crew, we have a guaranteed group of people we’re able to rely on, especially when we have tasks that require background knowledge,” said Devaney. “Understanding how food moves through our distribution center and out to people in need can be a significant asset in figuring out the best way to handle a project. That’s what the Core Crew brings to the table.”

Every member of the Core Crew has a special depth of knowledge of how we work. Trained in food safety management and nearly every volunteer process that we use, the Core Crew members can do it all and do it well. They come to us from careers in business and other industries, giving them insight into streamlining processes and maximizing efficiency. Core Crew members have taken an active role in developing new processes and determining the best ways to accomplish new projects.

“The Core Crew has been one of the best additions we’ve made to our volunteer program,” said Devaney. “We’re always looking for new members to join and add their expertise and energy to what we do, and we’re planning to expand Core Crew opportunities to other days of the week.”

To get involved in the Core Crew, contact Michaela Devaney at or 515-867-2886.

Thank you to our Core Crew Members: Orville Byrd Bob Forte John Heinen Elliot Nesbaum Jean Nesbaum John Newell Pat Olsen Carla Peterman