Grant supports the creation of a generator lending bank for pantry partners when disasters strike

The Derecho, which swept across the Midwest a year ago, hit Iowa the hardest, leaving behind utterly devastating damage and widespread power outage. Pantries stocked by Food Bank of Iowa lost tons of nutritious food when assistance was most needed.

Disasters of all types drastically increase food insecurity, often leaving families dependent on community pantries and feeding sites. However, if the local pantry is out of power, that leaves many Iowa families out of food. 

To ensure Food Bank of Iowa’s partners can meet community needs during an electrical outage, in addition to much-needed food and water, Food Bank of Iowa is now able to provide power.  Nine generators were purchased this week with the help of a grant from ITC Midwest, providing the basis for Food Bank of Iowa’s first generator bank.

Generators are expensive, the purchase of which is difficult for a non-profit for an occasional or one-time use. The Food Bank of Iowa generator bank will ensure partners can continue to distribute food safely to Iowans struggling to make ends meet, especially during times of disaster.

“Our top priorities include keeping food safe and removing roadblocks to service on the part of our pantry partners, while providing food and hope to Iowa families,” said Michelle Book, president and CEO of Food Bank of Iowa. “When disaster strikes, Food Bank of Iowa partners are first on the scene to provide food assistance. While Food Bank of Iowa is stocking the shelves with nutritious food, these generators will keep it safe.”

As Iowa’s independent transmission provider, ITC Midwest delivers electricity from the point of generation to distribution utilities that directly serve customers. ITC Midwest provides transmission grid solutions to improve reliability, interconnect renewable generation sources, and provide greater access to lower-cost energy.

“ITC Midwest has always taken an active role in the communities we serve by offering support to organizations supporting humanitarian needs,” said ITC Midwest President Dusky Terry. “While we pride ourselves on providing reliable electric transmission service, we also understand the need for Food Bank of Iowa to be fully prepared to serve their clients when severe storms strike and power outages occur. We are pleased to provide this contribution to support Food Bank of Iowa and its mission to provide food assistance for those in need.”

Any organization or individual interested in joining the fight for a hunger-free Iowa can volunteer, donate, and find advocacy information at