Des Moines, Iowa (Oct. 20, 2021) — Food Bank of Iowa has joined the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) Healthy Hunger Relief initiative to further uplift the health and well-being of Iowans in its 55-county service area. Food Bank of Iowa will work with PHA, the national nonprofit organization formed in conjunction with former First Lady Michelle Obama, to address hunger, malnutrition and chronic disease by increasing the supply of more healthful food options.
“PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief partners serve as the foundation of our mission to transform the food landscape in pursuit of food equity,” said Nancy E. Roman, president and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America. “Through our work together, we’re ensuring that communities and families all across the country have access to healthier, high-quality, culturally relevant and nutritious foods.”
Food Bank of Iowa, along with 29 other new Healthy Hunger Relief partners, will receive support from PHA to implement a comprehensive nutrition ranking system, developed by experts at Healthy Eating Research, over the next two years. In addition, PHA will provide technical assistance to help partners understand the nutritional quality of their inventory and make strategic decisions within and across food categories to improve nutritional quality, enhancing food equity for the communities they serve.
Grant brings more fresh produce, nutrition ranking system
Food Bank of Iowa has received $70,000 in grant funding from PHA to establish a nutrition ranking system and to support the distribution of nutritionally dense fresh produce. Food Bank of Iowa has already invested some of the grant funding to purchase potatoes, carrots and onions. Its inventory ranking system is in progress.
In FY 2021, produce accounted for approximately 16 percent of the pounds of food distributed by the food bank to its 677 partners. Food Bank of Iowa acquires produce through partnerships with local and corporate gardens, manufacturers, retail donors and USDA.
PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief initiative has introduced 115 million pounds of nutritious food into the emergency food system, while removing 19 million pounds of low-nutrition food. By welcoming new partners like Food Bank of Iowa to the program, PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief work will double in reach and span across 18 states, impacting more than 14 million Americans. PHA’s Healthy Hunger Relief work is now in 30% of all food banks across the country.
PHA made a commitment last month to provide 50 million servings of vegetables, fruits and legumes to food-insecure families by 2025. PHA’s work with its Healthy Hunger Relief partners is part of this broader effort to meaningfully shift the food supply available in disadvantaged communities as the organization works to improve food equity across the country.
About Partnership for a Healthier America
Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is the premier national nonprofit organization working to transform the food landscape in pursuit of health equity. At PHA, we believe that there is no true equity in society without health equity and that there is no health equity without food equity. Over the course of a decade, PHA has partnered with more than 300 corporations, nonprofits, and organizations around the country with the vision that all families in every ZIP code have access to affordable, good food. Visit PHA at ahealthieramerica.org.
About Food Bank of Iowa
Food Bank of Iowa provides food for Iowa children, families, seniors and veterans to lead full and active lives, strengthening the communities where they live. Serving 55 of Iowa’s 99 counties, Food Bank of Iowa delivered more than 21 million pounds of food to its 677 partners last year.
Any organization or individual interested in joining the fight for a hunger-free Iowa can volunteer, donate and find advocacy information at foodbankiowa.org.