A-CAN-EMY Awards & Celebration

May 13, 2017 | State Historical Museum of Iowa, 600 E Locust St., Des Moines

Join us as we celebrate 35 years!

Since 1982, Food Bank of Iowa has distributed over 163 million meals to Iowans in need, and we think that’s reason to celebrate! Join us for the A-CAN-EMY Awards & Celebration — a night of dinner, dancing, and live music by Max Wellman!

Also, this year is another important milestone: Central Iowa Canstruction® marks their 20th anniversary. Through the years, Canstruction’s sculpture competition has donated over 325,000 pounds of food to Food Bank of Iowa. This year, the sculptures will be built in the A-CAN-EMY Awards event space — and if you attend, your vote will choose the People’s Choice winner!

Purchase A-CAN-EMY Awards & Celebration tickets

A-CAN-EMY Awards & Celebration Details


  • 5:30 p.m. — Cash bar, CANstruction sculptures available for viewing/voting
  • 7:00 p.m. — Dinner & Awards
  • 8:15 p.m. — Dancing and live music by Max Wellman

New Location

State Historical Museum of Iowa, 600 E Locust St., Des Moines

About Canstruction®

Canstruction logoCanstruction® is an international organization with chapters across the globe. Architecture firms come together to benefit their communities through this one-of-a-kind event.

Canstruction® is using one can of food as a catalyst for change. One Can® to represent the building blocks of massive sculptures. One Can® to prove that every act of kindness makes a difference. Since 1992, Canstruction® has contributed over 17.5 million pounds of food to community food banks demonstrating that we can win the fight against hunger.

Canstruction® combines the competitive spirit of a design/build competition with a unique way to help feed the hungry. Competing teams, lead by architects and engineers, showcase their talents by designing giant sculptures made entirely out of canned food. Structures are created by stacking a variety of can sizes and shapes using the product labels as the color palette. Structurally self-supporting, the only other materials to be used are 1/4” leveling, cardboard, tape, rubber bands and wire.


May 2017

Canstruction logoCentral Iowa Canstruction returns in May 2017: check back for specifics!

2016's winning Canstruction sculptureThe Food Bank of Iowa is proud to be the beneficiary of Central Iowa Canstruction, organized by the American Institute of Architects Iowa chapter. This incredible event provides tons (literally) of much-needed food to the Food Bank, all while bringing together ateliers and community groups to create fleeting artistic masterpieces.

Canstruction® is a unique charity art exhibition and event featuring structures made by teams of volunteers, youth groups and/or Canstruction contractors. The structures are made entirely out of full cans of food. At the end of the exhibitions or events, all food is donated to local hunger relief organizations.

Recognized for their commitment to art, innovation, and hunger relief, the art exhibitions and events have helped raise over 40 million pounds of food to local foodbanks since 1992.

Meeting the Need—Our Annual Partner Agency Conference

May 16, 2017 | Holiday Inn Merle Hay, Des Moines

Meeting the Need

Our Annual Partner Agency Conference

May 16, 2017 — Holiday Inn Northwest, 4800 Merle Hay Rd., Des Moines, IA

The Food Bank of Iowa’s annual Partner Agency Conference brings together more than 100 representatives from our partner agencies and programs to learn from experts and one another. Held each spring in Des Moines, the conference fills a day with breakout sessions, networking opportunities and a keynote speaker.

2017 Conference Schedule

8:00-8:30 a.m., Registration and Breakfast

8:30-8:45 a.m., Welcome

8:45-9:30 a.m., General Session: “News from the Food Bank to You”
FY16 Distribution and Partner Benefits; Red2Green history and update; Iowa Hunger Coalition; Renovation Project/Capital Campaign update

9:40-10:30 a.m., Breakout 1

  • PRIMARIUS Training
    • Lexi Prigge, Food Bank of Iowa
  • Communicating with Pantry Clients
    • Aimee Smith, Joppa Outreach; Joan Spooner, UDMO – Buena Vista County; Mary O’Riley, Creston Area Food Pantry
  • Managing a Successful Volunteer Program
    • Brianne Fitzgerald, Communications and Engagement Officer, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service

10:45-11:45 a.m., Breakout 2

  • “Spend Smart. Eat Smart”
    • Christine Hradek, ISU Extension
  • Growing Bolder in Iowa
    • Linda Gobberdiel, IA Department on Aging
  • The Mythology of Food Dating
    • Todd Gerwig, Deputy District Manager, USDA-Des Moines District

12:00-1:00 p.m., Lunch and Keynote Speaker
Melissa Sturm-Smith, Associate Provost for Academic Excellence and Student Success Team Leader, University Climate Assessment for Diversity – Drake University

1:10-2:00 p.m., Breakout 3

  • Grant Opportunities – how to find and apply for them
    • Ramona Gaukel, United Way of Central Iowa
  • Meal Planning with Food Bank Product
    • Lyn Evans, First United Methodist Community Meal
  • Agency Best Practices
    • Ellen Anderson, ISU Extension & Outreach Buena Vista County; Daniel Beck, DMARC Food Pantry Network; Melissa Stimple, Waukee Area Christian Services
  • Clients and Mental Health: Issues your clients may face and how to work with them
    • Dr. Earl Kilgore, Broadlawns Medical Center

2:00-3:30 p.m., Resource Tables Available

2:30-3:00 p.m., Conference Wrap Up and Food Bank Hall of Fame Inductions

Strike Out Hunger

Throughout the Iowa Cubs baseball season

Iowa Cubs pitchers have extra incentive to strike out batters, thanks to Strike Out Hunger! For every I-Cubs strikeout, 72 Degrees Comfort Company will provide 20 meals to Iowans in need, all throughout the I-Cubs’ season. The 2016 season was an excellent year for strikeouts, resulting in more than 23,000 meals to benefit Iowans in need!

When you’re at Principal Park, be sure to look for graphics on the left field video board and in your player bio packets!

Leading strikeout pitchers in 2016 were Drew Rucinski and Jake Buchanan.

Smoke Out Hunger 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017 | Brenton Skating Plaza, 520 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines, IA 50309

Smoke Out Hunger is back for 2017!

Des Moines’ premier BBQ event is back! Enjoy all the BBQ you can eat from a smoke-tastic lineup of local pitmasters and restaurants (including some unique vegetarian BBQ options!). Pair your BBQ samplings with refreshing craft beers provided by Doll Distributing — all at no cost past the ticket price! Round out your Smoke Out Hunger experience with live music by Adam Bruce, lawn games, and picnic table board games. All proceeds benefit Food Bank of Iowa’s work to end hunger in Iowa!

Enjoy Central Iowa’s Best BBQ!

  • Captain’s BBQ
  • Guru BBQ
  • Gusto Pizza Co.
  • Jethro’s
  • Kue’d Smokehouse
  • Uncle Wendell’s
  • Bubba
  • Fresh Cafe and Market
  • Gateway Market
  • Zombie Burger
  • For the kids: hot dogs by Hy-Vee

Sip on Refreshing Craft Beer!

Summer calls for cold beer, and there’s nothing better than a great variety of local and national craft beer, all provided by Doll Distributing. Discover the best beer-BBQ pairings or just enjoy a cold one in the sun! Smoke Out Hunger will also feature the new Vin26 Chardonnay!

Win Tasty BBQ Prizes!

Buy raffle tickets and win awesome BBQ prizes, all while helping to fight hunger!

  • All Expenses Paid Weekend Getaway to Kansas City, the BBQ Capital of the Midwest!
  • Pitmaster-hosted backyard BBQ feast
  • Gift cards to Central Iowa BBQ destinations
  • Custom made Bags Board sets
  • and more!

Show Off Your Bags Skills!

Step onto the grass and show your mettle at our Bags Board station! With a small donation, you can prove your status as the Smoke Out Hunger Bags Champ!


Reach out to us at Food Bank of Iowa with any questions about Smoke Out Hunger or our mission to provide food for Iowa children, families, and seniors to lead full and active lives, strengthening the communities where they live. You can reach our communications manager, Danny Akright, at 515-867-2885 or by email at dakright@foodbankiowa.org.

Smoke Out Hunger sponsor logos


Rivalry with a Heart Pep Rally

Date TBD, 2017

Held in the midst of “Hate Week,” Rivalry with a Heart builds on the CyHawk rivalry with a competition to provide the most meals to the Food Bank of Iowa. The Iowa State Cyclones took the 2016 title, raising 4,210 meals to the Hawkeyes’ 3,593.

The Rivalry with a Heart Pep Rally was organized by the University of Iowa Alumni Association and the Iowa State University Alumni Association, and took place on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, at Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. The rally included each school’s mascots, cheer squads and alumni pep bands.

Arresting Hunger

Dates TBD, 2017

Last year, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) raised more than $5,400 in our inaugural effort to help alleviate hunger throughout Iowa. This year, the DPS and Des Moines Police Department are partnering with law enforcement from across the State of Iowa to raise money to provide meals for those who are food insecure. With the assistance of our fellow officers statewide, we hope to multiply our efforts this year.

There will be three possible ways to give—giving online, by check (written to the Food Bank of Iowa, with the words “arresting hunger” in the memo line), or with cash (by filling out an envelope that will be secured and sent to the Food Bank of Iowa). These donations will qualify for the charitable contribution deduction.

This year, the campaign will run from September 1 through November 21. More details regarding this effort will be forthcoming. We will also be distributing the donations throughout the State of Iowa to food banks and food pantries, just as we did last year.

Make a gift!

Combat Hunger

November 16 & 17, 2017 | 12th Street in downtown Des Moines

The largest food drive in the state of Iowa, Star 102.5’s Combat Hunger raised more than 300,000 meals for Iowans in need in 2016. Get involved by starting your own Combat Hunger food drive!

Join us at the Combat Hunger encampment on 12th Street in downtown Des Moines on November 16 & 17, 2017!

Unite2Feed Combo Meal Pack

February 21 & 22, 2017 | Food Bank of Iowa, 2220 E. 17th Street, Des Moines, IA 50316

Food Bank of Iowa, DMARC Food Pantry Network, Meals From the Heartland

Unite2Feed is back!

Our first collaborative Unite2Feed event with the DMARC Food Pantry Network and Meals from the Heartland was a wonderful success! We packaged 10,000 Combo Meals – Meals from the Heartland meals combined with food bank items – to be distributed to food pantries around our service area, including 5,000 for Polk County. We’re so grateful for the support we received from the Des Moines community and beyond to help spread the word about hunger here in Iowa. We had such a great response to our first event, that we’re holding another in February!

Our next UNITE2FEED event will take place February 21, and we need your help!

Get Involved:
Sign up to volunteer at #Unite2Feed.
Donate to the #Unite2Feed project.

This event will be hosted by all three organizations at the Food Bank of Iowa. We’ll be packaging 10,000 more Combo Meals to be distributed throughout Iowa.