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In order to help Iowa children, families and seniors in need, we need food. We have a multifaceted approach to gathering food from individuals, retailers, producers and other sources. Through these sources, our dedicated Food Acquisition Team makes it possible for the Food Bank of Iowa to provide about 10 million meals to our neighbors in need each year.

Individual Donors and Food Drives provide a wide variety of mixed food products and personal care items. Volunteers sort these donations, which come in as miscellaneous collections of food, into 13 different categories, allowing our partners to choose boxes of canned fruit, soups, breakfast items and more. The HUSH program, operated in partnership with the Iowa DNR, allows hunters to donate nutritious venison.

Retail Donations from stores like Walmart, Target and Fareway come to the Food Bank of Iowa or connect directly with our local partners. Our Retail Donation Program Manager manages this program, which helps the stores cut back on food waste and make a positive impact in their community. To learn how to start a retail program in your area, contact Sonja LeSher, Retail Donation Manager, at slesher@foodbankiowa.org or 515-867-2890.

Food Producers and Wholesalers like Barilla and Hormel provide large quantities—even full truckloads—of the products they manufacture and distribute. These donations, which are managed by our Food Acquisition Program Manager, are a very large part of what we provide to our partners, and help the food producers and wholesalers reduce waste and benefit partners throughout our service area. To learn how your organization can make a large scale donation, contact Emily Shearer, Food Acquisition Program Manager, at  515-867-2894.

USDA TEFAP is a federal program in which the U.S. purchases surplus foods from farmers and other food producers, and then provides the products to food banks across the country, including the Food Bank of Iowa. These large shipments of fresh produce, meat, and non-perishable goods are a major benefit both to the food banks that receive them and to the local economies of the original food producers.

Food Purchase helps us supplement our stocks of seldom-donated products like milk, eggs, meat and fresh produce. We use funds received from individual donors and foundations to purchase food, which benefits Iowans in need throughout our service area.

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