Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Open House

January 16, 2017 | Food Bank of Iowa, 2220 E. 17th St., Des Moines, IA 50316

Join the Food Bank of Iowa as we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work on civil rights and poverty, explore our work to end hunger in Iowa, and tour our distribution center.

Listen to guest speakers discuss Dr. King’s legacy:

  • 1:00 p.m. Rev. Robin Jenkins, Corinthian Baptist Church
  • 3:00 p.m. Joshua Barr, director of the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Department
  • 4:30 p.m.: Rev. Al Perez, Zion Lutheran Church

Refreshments will be provided.


Date TBD, 2017

This creative contest brings central Iowa architecture firms, schools and other groups together to build impressive and artistic sculptures and structures entirely out of grocery products, all of which are donated to the Food Bank of Iowa at the end of the event. Canstruction is an international organization, and the Des Moines chapter has been in operation for more than 25 years.

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.

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.

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!

Smoke Out Hunger

Date TBD, 2017

Brand new in 2016, Smoke Out Hunger is the Food Bank of Iowa’s signature event. Featuring six BBQ vendors from around central Iowa (Jethro’s BBQ, Guru BBQ, Uncle Wendell’s BBQ, Captn’s BBQ, Gusto Pizza Co. and Berkwood Farms), live music by Brother Trucker and delicious Iowa 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.

Information about Smoke Out Hunger 2017 will be available here in the future.

Special thanks to our 2016 sponsors: Nationwide, John Deere, United Healthcare, 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

Meeting the Need—Our Annual Partner Agency Conference

Date TBD, 2017

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.

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.

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!