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Food Bank Breaks Record but Still Reaching Higher

By Aaryn Frazier, December 06, 2018

Food Bank of Iowa distributed a record-shattering 1.5 million pounds of food in November. However, they are still working to fully meet the needs of Iowans struggling with food insecurity.

According to a press release from Food Bank of Iowa, the Des Moines-based nonprofit, Iowa’s largest anti-hunger organization, has set a goal of 2 million pounds of food distributed each month. Danny Akright, communications manager, said Food Bank of Iowa exists to bring in huge quantities of food from resource-rich areas, such as the Greater Des Moines area or parts of the state with, for example, a concentration of egg production, and make that food available to food pantries and other organizations in areas that lack those resources.

“That distribution record of 1.5 million pounds is due in large part to distribution to smaller communities like Wapello and its neighbors,” Akright said.

When it comes to the continuing need in Iowa, however, there is still a ways to go.

“While breaking our distribution record might seem like exciting news, my feelings are mixed,” said Michelle Book, Food Bank of Iowa’s president and CEO. “On one hand, this is exactly why we renovated our facility; to move more food. On the other hand, it saddens me that 1.5 million pounds is not enough.”

Akright continued with explaining that much of that 1.5 million pounds went out to partners and programs in communities even smaller than Ottumwa. And the nonprofit is taking steps to close the gap of those still in need.

“As far as the need vs. what is being received, we know that we’re on the right track. Within the past 18 months, we have hired two staff members to help track down donations of food from Iowa food producers, distributors, and retailers,” explained Akright. “They have done an incredible job, but we still need the help of individuals who are able to donate food or funds, which allow us to purchase the food we don’t receive in donations.”

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