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.

Healthy Options Summit

Thursday, March 23, 2017 | ISU Extension and Outreach – Buena Vista County, 824 Flindt Dr., Storm Lake, IA 50588


Salud, ISU Extension, Food Bank of IowaThe Healthy Options Summit is a special event focused on tackling the issue of food insecurity in Buena Vista County and Northwest Iowa. Brought to you by SALUD! Multicultural Health Coalition, ISU Extension and Outreach – Buena Vista County, and the Food Bank of Iowa, the Healthy Options Summit is intended to foster collaboration and improve strategies to fight hunger in Northwest Iowa.

Healthy Options Summit Schedule

8:00-8:30 a.m. — Registration and Light Breakfast

8:30-9:45 a.m. — Keynote: “Food Insecurity: How Did We Get Ourselves Into This Mess, and How Do We Get Ourselves Out Of It?”
Mary Swander, Iowa Poet Laureate, founder and executive director of AgArts, and Distinguished Professor Emerita of Iowa State University, will trace the roots of our current food insecurity problem from World War II to the present. Mary offers hope for moving forward, drawing from such examples as the Comida Project in Marshalltown, IA, the Red Earth Farm on the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, and her own journey toward food self-sufficiency. Swander’s talk will be enhanced with food narratives from local residents of Storm Lake.

9:45-10:00 a.m. — Break

10:00-10:30 a.m. — General Session 1: Food Insecurity Statistics
Liesl Eathington, Iowa Community Indicators Program, provides data on poverty, the relationship between poverty and food needs in Iowa, and other food-related health and economic measures. Communities and organizations can use this information to better understand and address local food insecurity issues.

10:30-11:15 a.m. — General Session 2: Breaking Poverty Myths
Ellen Anderson, ISU Extension and Outreach – Buena Vista County will encourage attendees to better understand the plight of the food insecure and provide an increased understanding of the cycle of need in which poverty places families. Participants will explore the dilemma between empowerment and enabling through group activities.

11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. — General Session 3: Healthy Food Projects
ISU Extension and Outreach – Buena Vista County will offer suggestions to help increase access to healthy food options at food banks, in distribution events, through rescue projects and using tools such as, Spend Smart. Eat Smart.

12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. — Lunch
Storm Lake High School AVID students and Nichole Krager, AVID advisor, will share their journey in establishing a food pantry at the Storm Lake High School at 12:30.

1:00-2:00 p.m. — General Session 4: Volunteer Recruiting & Compassion Fatigue
Micheala Devaney of the Food Bank of Iowa shares volunteer recruitment & engagement strategies.

2:10-3:00 p.m. — Breakout Sessions
A. Feeding Children: Hear from school personnel about the impact of backpack and school pantry programs. Learn about monthly food box distribution at Storm Lake Middle School.

B. Abundant Harvest and Plant a Row Projects: Learn best practices and encouragement to share your abundant harvest with local food banks and distribution sites. Consider joining local gardeners in “planting a row” specifically for donation.

C. Feeding Seniors: Learn about the Department of Aging Growing Bolder initiative and how Iowa Food Bank, ISU Extension and Outreach-Buena Vista County, The Hunger Dialogue, Buena Vista County Master Gardeners and Salud! are working together with community agencies to support the elderly and homebound in Buena Vista County by increasing access to healthy food, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables.

Healthy Options Summit Registration Form

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A-CAN-EMY Awards & Celebration

May 13, 2017 | Mainframe Studios, 900 Keosauqua Way, Des Moines, IA 50309

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! As a special benefit, you get to experience the exceptional art space being renovated within Mainframe Studios, with tours of the building available prior to dinner.

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. — Cocktails & red carpet arrival, Mainframe Studios tours, CANstruction sculptures available for viewing/voting
  • 7:00 p.m. — Dinner & Awards
  • 8:15 p.m. — Dancing and live music by Max Wellman


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

Partner Agency Conference 2017: Tuesday, May 16!

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.

Planning for Meeting the Need 2017 is under way! Expect more great content from Food Bank of Iowa staff, partner agency representatives, and topic experts.

The 2016 session agenda provides a preview of the type of content you can expect in 2017. Beginning with a general session, the 2016 conference included three breakout sessions:

Breakout 1

  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC): How WIC can help your clients
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program: Understanding TEFAP and your responsibilities

Breakout 2

  • Spend Smart. Eat Smart.
  • Communicate at your best
  • Advocating for your agencies and clients

Breakout 3

  • Model Pantry: Client choice
  • Meal planning with Food Bank product
  • Client diversity
  • FBOI 102: Food Bank Orientation

As planning continues for Meeting the Need 2017, more information will be available here.

Strike Out Hunger

Throughout the Iowa Cubs baseball season

Iowa Cubs pitchers have extra incentive to strike out batters, thanks to Cognizant’s sponsorship of Strike Out Hunger! For every I-Cubs strikeout, Cognizant provides 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!

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

Smoke Out Hunger

July 30, 2017

Save the date: Sunday, July 30, 2017

The event you loved in 2016 will be back this summer, bigger and better! Check back for details and tickets early this summer.

With its first incarnation in 2016, Smoke Out Hunger is the Food Bank of Iowa’s signature event. Featuring BBQ vendors from around Central Iowa (Jethro’s BBQ, Guru BBQ, Uncle Wendell’s BBQ, Captn’s BBQ, Gusto Pizza Co. and Berkwood Farms in 2016), live music by Brother Trucker, plus delicious craft beers, Smoke Out Hunger brought more than 300 supporters to Des Moines’ Brenton Skating Plaza to celebrate our work and provide 200,000 meals for our neighbors in need.

Special thanks to our 2016 sponsors: Nationwide, John Deere, UnitedHealthcare, MidAmerican Energy, Doll Distributing, Aureon, Bankers Trust, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Kemin, Meredith, the Gartner Family/Iowa Cubs, Dice Holdings, Simonson & Associates Architects, Willis Cadillac, Peter Kitundu & Anjela Shutts

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!