Public Private Collaboration Helps Strengthen Fight Against Food Insecurity in Iowa

This week, 265 food pantries and feeding sites across Iowa received COVID Relief Partner Agency Grants totaling $1,980,631.87. Intended to mitigate additional costs related to COVID response, these grants were made possible with CARES Act funding.  

This was the final round of a two-round grant process. In total, the COVID Relief Partner Agency Grants provided $5,417,464.39 of relief funding to smaller front-line hunger-fighting organizations affiliated with Iowa’s six Feeding America food banks, one of which is Food Bank of Iowa.  

The COVID Relief Partner Agency Grant was administered by the Iowa Food Bank Association, a coalition of Iowa food banks. In total, Iowa’s six food banks procure and supply nutritious food to over 1,000 pantries and feeding programs across Iowa’s 99 counties. Food Bank of Iowa provides food for 650 pantries and feeding sites in 55 Iowa counties. 

According to Feeding America, food insecurity in Iowa increased 50% during the first three months of the COVID Pandemic. Currently, Feeding America reports that 407,020 Iowans are food insecure compared to 305,100 in 2019.

“Food Bank of Iowa is in the business of delivering food to hunger-fighting organizations in your community,” said Michelle Book, Food Bank of Iowa CEO. “It was a real thrill for my team to support the process to deliver cash in addition.”

Food banks are large-scale food acquisition and distribution businesses. These essential non-profit organizations procure free food and food at discount and wholesale prices; manage USDA food distribution; operate industrial grade freezers, cold and dry storage; and maintain extensive heavy equipment and truck fleets – with food safety and serving the needy always top of mind.