Food Bank of Iowa announced today a new partnership with faith-based community leaders working to help provide food to those suddenly struggling with hunger in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Project Zúme is a collaboration of churches, faith-based organizations and businesses which will serve as an extension of Food Bank of Iowa for purposes of emergency food assembly, distribution and delivery within the Des Moines metro area. In addition to Food Bank of Iowa, Project Zúme participants have been deemed essential services by the State of Iowa.

“The Food Bank of Iowa metro network is comprised of over 40 food pantries all of whom are working hard to meet a rapidly expanding need,” said Michelle Book, Food Bank of Iowa’s president and CEO. “Project Zúme is an invaluable addition to this powerful team allowing us to serve the newly pandemic-impoverished and the homebound.”

Income has evaporated at an exponential rate for many hourly and low-wage earners, few of which had savings, as children home from school and college place additional stress on strained budgets. Seniors who were once mobile are now shut in and people are ill. The need for food assistance is expected to continue to increase.

“The grid we are building with Project Zúme is incorporating some great administrators coupled with visionaries to build a sustainable plan during this time,” said community leader, Al Perez. “Food Bank of Iowa and its team are bravely treading uncharted territory in this time of need, and we are privileged to partner with them and offer peace to our city.”

People searching for food assistance may find up to date information regarding Project Zúme food distribution sites and times on Food Bank of Iowa’s website,, by calling the Food Bank of Iowa Emergency Food Assistance Hotline at 515-957-2900 or by sending an email to

About Food Bank of Iowa Food Bank of Iowa is a private, nonprofit donor-funded organization dedicated to making hunger-free Iowa a reality. Through key partnerships with corporations, the USDA and Feeding America—as well as community donations—Food Bank of Iowa distributes 1.5 million pounds of food each month before COVID-19 to 175,000 Iowans via 625 partner agencies across 55 Iowa counties.

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