Dear Friends,

It’s been a rough winter in Iowa. Many of us are focused on an eventual thaw, which is sure to come. With warm spring days in mind, it’s time to start planning the garden. If you are someone who likes to eat what they themselves grow from our rich soil, I hope you’ll keep hungry Iowans in mind as you place your seed order.

I know our clients deserve better access to garden-fresh produce. You may recall the food bank concluded a complete remodel of our facility last year. To allow for the procurement of more produce, our renovation included the construction of an enormous cooler. Within its walls, racks are ready to be filled with fresh produce.

Today, we rely upon a number of sources for fresh fruits and vegetables: a Feeding America produce co-op, a partnership with Iowa correctional facilities, and corporate employee-tended gardens all provide a bounty of produce. But we need more. More cucumbers. More green peppers. More zucchini — yes, I asked for zucchini.

Fresh produce is especially hard to come by for food insecure Iowans working two to three jobs and struggling to get by. Food pantries can be their best source of healthy fruits and nutritious vegetables. And you can help make sure our pantry partners are well stocked. If your garden provides a little extra this summer, please share it with your local food pantry — a list is provided on our website.

Cultivators, as you ponder the upcoming growing season, will you also consider helping to fill our cooler racks with garden-fresh produce? I am confident Iowans will help us feed Iowans. “Build it and they will come.” This is Iowa, after all.

Visit to learn more.


Michelle Book
President & CEO
Food Bank of Iowa