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A Note From Our CEO

September 15, 2018 | Newsletter

Dear Friends,

As kids returned to school in August, I breathed a huge sigh of relief.   For most Iowa youth, return to school means football, math homework, access to great literature, and fun on the playground.   For the 115,000 food insecure children in Iowa it is so much more . . . the return to school also means a sack of food sent home on Friday or the opportunity to shop at a Food Bank of Iowa school pantry.

Here at Food Bank of Iowa, we’re dedicated to solving the problem of hunger for all Iowans, but we’re especially focused on our most vulnerable neighbors.  It’s the little ones we worry for the most. That’s why, over the past several years, we have focused our attention on growing our school-based hunger fighting programs.

Last year, in addition to the BackPack program, we supported more school pantries than ever before.  A school pantry works just like a conventional pantry, but it’s located inside a school.  Teachers, school nurses, and counselors, who are already dedicated to each child’s well being, identify the kiddos who need help and direct them to the pantry.

Where there is need, space, and a caring school administrator, the Food Bank of Iowa creates a pantry and keeps it stocked with healthy food: fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, eggs, pasta, and soups.  Food that helps kids grow and learn.  A school resource officer helps to manage operations and distribute food, often with the students themselves taking leadership roles within pantry operations.

If a child cannot thrive because they do not have access to enough nutritious food, the consequences are severe.  Poor attendance, unruly behavior, and sub-par grades at school impact their life-long potential.  Children who suffer from food insecurity learn poor eating habits, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, heart disease – and the stress of being food insecure often times results in adult mental health issues.

Together, we have a responsibility to the children of Iowa.  We take this seriously and we know you do too. Thank you for supporting the Food Bank of Iowa.  Thank you for supporting the next generation of Iowans. It means the world.


Michelle Book

President & CEO

Food Bank of Iowa

Danny Akright |

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