Safe, edible food will be available to 650-partner network across 55 counties

Nothing compares to the Iowa State Fair and Food Bank of Iowa helped to make the most of it this year. On August 23, Food Bank of Iowa collected nearly 10,000 pounds of food donated by Iowa State Fair vendors – rescuing safe, edible food unused by vendors at the close of the fair. 

Volunteers worked with ten vendors to gather meat, produce, dairy, eggs, and juice. The food was transported to Food Bank of Iowa’s distribution center on the east side of Des Moines, where it will be inspected and added to inventory. The food will be delivered to pantry and congregate meal partners to help food insecure Iowans. 

Vendors who contributed to the food bank’s food rescue program included Veggie-Table, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Sheep Industry Association, Jalapeno Pete’s, G. Mig’s, West Des Moines United Methodist Church, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Stockman’s Inn LLC, Grater Taters and Iowa Egg Council. This year was the largest food rescue year in Food Bank of Iowa’s history with the Iowa State Fair.

An estimated 300,000 Iowans don’t have access to sufficient nutritious food. Food Bank of Iowa is responsible for finding free and reduced cost food, keeping it safe, and delivering it to the doorways of 650 partners across 55 Iowa counties.  Of the 20,000,000 pounds distributed by Food Bank of Iowa last year, 30% was donated and rescued.

“Food rescue is an essential part of serving Iowa families,” said Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa. “Otherwise destined for the landfill, this food is diverted safely to our neighbors’ dinner tables—where it belongs.”

According to EPA estimates, food waste makes up 22% of the nation’s trash. By rescuing food, making sure it is safe to consume, and redistributing it to Iowa families in need, Food Bank of Iowa minimizes landfill use and provides essential nutrition for folks facing a tough time.

Food Bank of Iowa works with wholesale and retail partners year-round to rescue and redistribute food to Iowans in need. Any organization interested in joining Food Bank of Iowa’s food rescue efforts may contact the organization’s Food Acquisition Program Manager, Emily Shearer, at 515-867-2894. Learn more, donate or sign up to volunteer at