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Your donation makes a difference in the life of an Iowan in need. Every item of food that we distribute goes to Iowa children, families and seniors struggling with hunger.

There are many ways that individuals, families and organizations can make a difference by donating food to the Food Bank of Iowa.

Can the Food Bank do more with food or financial donations? Food drives are a great, tangible way for people to make a contribution to our mission, but they aren’t the most efficient way to donate. Because of the relationships we have with large food producers and wholesalers, combined with the fact that we buy food in very large quantities (i.e. truckloads rather than cans, boxes, or even cases), we are able to stretch financial donations a long way. Often, we use donated funds to buy foods that are harder to donate but more nutritious — fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meat, milk, and eggs are all good examples. With every $1 donated, we’re able to provide 4 full meals. Here are some examples of how we can stretch a dollar:

  • $100 can purchase 10 cases of shelf-stable milk
  • $2,000 can purchase 10 tons of potatoes, or half a truckload
  • $5,000 can purchase almost an entire truck filled with a variety of fresh produce

Individual Food Donations can fit your ability to give, from just a few items to a trunk full of food. Individual donations can include grocery items, personal care items and homegrown garden produce. We accept individual donations during the following hours:

  • Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Fridays, 8 a.m. to noon

Food Drives of all sizes make a difference, from a small office or classroom to Combat Hunger, our largest annual food drive. Learn more about how to hold a successful food drive.

Processing your own pork, beef, or other meat? We love donated meat of all kinds and types! Many people who have a hog or other livestock processed donate some of the meat that is produced. In order for us to accept these donations, they must be:

  • Processed in a USDA-inspected locker*
  • Labeled with the product name, weight, place of manufacture, and ingredients
  • Properly refrigerated or frozen

Contact Emily Shearer at eshearer@foodbankiowa.org or 515-867-2894 to learn more.

Gardeners and Farmers are a great source of fresh fruits and vegetables. We are always happy to work with gardeners and farmers to arrange for large donations of fresh produce. Contact our Food Acquisition Program Manager, Emily Shearer, at eshearer@foodbankiowa.org or 515-867-2894 to get started.

Hunters can donate legally harvested deer through the HUSH (Help Us Stop Hunger) program, a partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and participating meat lockers*. Learn about the HUSH program.
*Not sure? Just ask! Your locker will be able to tell you whether they are USDA inspected.

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Our Most Needed Items include all the items that our partners and clients need to keep their shelves and stomachs full. We strive to supply the most nutritious items possible, so please consider donating items low in sodium.

  • Proteins
    • Canned meat
    • Canned fish (e.g. tuna or salmon)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned soup
  • Dry pasta
  • Breakfast items (including cereal)
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Paper and personal products (e.g., toothpaste, soap and toilet paper)