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A Note From Our CEO

June 15, 2018 | Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Even as our renovation wraps up, we’ve already begun to see our investment paid back in spades. Our team is more collaborative, more productive, and more efficient. Our distribution center is safer, more intelligently structured, and holds an incredible amount of food. Karen’s Cupboard, our new on-site pantry, is serving an average of 60 households each week. And my favorite addition is already pushing new food into our inventory.

Back when the details of the renovation were just percolating in the minds of our team, I knew that we wanted to add a clean room. We had been forced to turn away donations that were packed in bulk – pasta, frozen meats, and other products that would be offered in cases of 50 or 100, or a 1-ton tote full of loose noodles. All of it was good food, and we had to turn it away. No food bank in the state of Iowa had the capability to process those bulk donations into family-size portions.

Now, we do. Our clean room has been up and running for more than two months, and we’re going gangbusters. Volunteers decked out in hairnets, bibs, gloves, and (my favorite) beard nets fill the room, unpacking products like croissants and frozen pork fritters and repacking them into family-sized packaging. It is a sight to see.

All the while, our staff maintains the room to exacting USDA specifications, sanitizing the room after each use and monitoring temperature and other conditions. Food safety is vital throughout our facility, especially in the clean room.

I want to show you this fantastic addition to our distribution center. Pay us a visit or sign up for a clean room volunteer shift. I know that you’ll see it as I do: an indispensable asset and a great addition to our work.


Michelle Book
President & CEO
Food Bank of Iowa

Danny Akright |

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