Across Iowa’s 99 counties, 324 grants, totaling $3,452,729 were awarded to Feeding America partner pantries and feeding sites to mitigate additional costs incurred by front-line food assistance providers who stepped up to respond to unusually high demand during the COVID-19 food insecurity crisis.

Grants provided this week to Feeding America food bank partners are possible due to CARES Act funding.  The COVID Relief Partner Agency Grant was administered by the Iowa Food Bank Association, a coalition of six Feeding America food banks banding together to ensure no Iowan lacks proper nutrition. 

Food banks are large-scale food distribution businesses.  These essential non-profits operate industrial freezers, cold and dry storage, warehouse equipment, and truck fleets.  Administration of USDA commodities, acquiring and distributing free and reduced cost food, storage and transportation – is always done with food safety and serving the needy top of mind. 

In 2020, Food Bank of Iowa and food banks in Waterloo, Davenport, Hiawatha, Sioux City, and Omaha together distributed over 60,000,000 pounds of food to Iowans struggling to make ends meet via close collaboration with 1,200 boots-on-the-ground partners.  By working together, we provide hope, striving for a better tomorrow.

According to Feeding America, food insecurity exploded due to the economic fallout of the pandemic, initially impacting 1 in four Iowans. Even as vaccinations start to slow the spread of COVID-19 across Iowa, a high level of food insecurity persists, as one child out of five relies on some form of food assistance for a full tummy. 

“Food Bank of Iowa served an additional 220,000 Iowans, moving 25% more pounds of food in 2020,” said Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa. “This level of service would not have been possible without dedicated, committed partners who share our ethics, mission and passion. Individually – we provide help, Together — we change lives.”