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Food and Meal Safety

Please read over the PowerPoint before taking the Food Safety Test.

Once finished with the PowerPoint, take the test below.

If you are wanting to complete the test on paper, please print out the Food Safety Test PDF and mail it to Food Bank of Iowa at PO Box 1517, Des Moines, IA 50305. You can also scan your printed test to your Regional Partnership Coordinator.

Please read over the PowerPoint before taking the Meal Safety Test.

Once finished with the PowerPoint, take the test below.

If you are wanting to complete the test on paper, please print out the Meal Safety Test PDF and mail it to Food Bank of Iowa at PO Box 1517, Des Moines, IA 50305. You can also scan your printed test to your Regional Partnership Coordinator.

 

General Food Bank of Iowa Information

Every county in our service area has a Regional Partnership Coordinator (RPC) assigned to serve that county’s partners and programs. Consult this map to determine who your contact is and how to get in touch. Our Operations Coordinator is dedicated to helping all of our partners with any customer service or ordering issues. To meet the rest of our team, visit  Our Team page

You can review all of our agency guidelines and policies in our Partner Agency Handbook. 

Use our Partner Agency Update Form to let us know of any changes to your partner agency’s information. Once you’ve completed the form, fax or scan and email the form to your regional partnership coordinator.

Every partner agency has the same terms of agreement with the Food Bank of Iowa. Your Regional Partnership Coordinator can share a copy of your agency’s signed contract with you for review.

Nonperishable items have dates printed on their packaging worded as “use by,” “sell by,” “best by,” or other labels. These dates do not mean that the food is expired on that date, and it’s important to know what’s still safe to distribute. The USDA is the last word on food dating, so check their website for details. Our rule of thumb is that canned goods are still good for about a year past their date, while boxed foods are still good for about six months past their date. Click here for the Shelf Life of Food Bank Products guide.

Partner Orientation is the best way for new partners and new staff of existing partners to learn about the Food Bank of Iowa, what we do, and how we can help. During Orientation, you will receive a tour of our facility, meet our staff, learn about how to order food, and tons more useful info!

Upcoming Orientation dates: TBD. Contact your RPC

USDA TEFAP & Civil Rights

USDA TEFAP is a program that provides commodity foods to food banks across the country. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) acquires surplus food from food producers and then distributes it to recipients through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Essentially, USDA TEFAP is a giant-scale food rescue program. To find out more, click here

The USDA updates the income guidelines that determine who qualifies to receive TEFAP on a yearly basis. Clients must affirm that they meet these guidelines by completing a self-declaration form. The form is also available in Spanish. Your agency is responsible for keeping the TEFAP form on file and up to date. We strongly recommend that you work with your regional partnership coordinator to ensure that you are following all appropriate guidelines for TEFAP. 

The USDA requires Civil Rights Training for any organization that distributes USDA TEFAP food. Civil Rights Training is important because it helps ensure that every Iowan who needs food assistance is able to access it without discrimination. 

Your Regional Partnership Coordinator (RPC) will guide you through the steps needed to properly train your organization. Contact your RPC to get started.

You can use these documents to help train your volunteers and keep track of who’s trained:

Faith-based organizations have to follow extra USDA TEFAP guidelines. The documents below will help you satisfy all of your requirements. Contact your Regional Partnership Coordinator with any questions.

Records and Reporting

All Food Bank of Iowa partner agencies need to keep records for accurate data reporting. Food pantries that order USDA TEFAP food must use this self-declaration form. In addition, the following must be recorded: Number of households served, number of individuals within those households, and age ranges of each individual.  

Meal sites must keep an On-Site Feeding Record documenting how many meals served over the course of a month. 

All partners must keep a Temperature Record if they have cold or frozen storage (regardless of whether you receive cold or frozen food from us). Contact your Regional Partnership Coordinator for information and guidance on record-keeping for your agency. 

Yes, our partner agencies should report food received from local retail stores. As a Feeding America affiliated food bank, we are required to report those donations you receive to Feeding America. 

Review our Retail Store Reporting for assistance with submitting data. Click here for further instructions. 

Statistical reporting is an important part of your partnership with the Food Bank of Iowa. Your Regional Partnership Coordinator is the best resource to guide you through the reporting process. Review our video-based Primarius training for assistance with submitting statistics. 

Online Ordering

We use Primarius, a system designed for food banks, to keep track of our inventory and process orders. Please use our Online Ordering System Training Manual for instructions on how to place an order. If you are located in Region 5, please use R5 Online Ordering System Training Manual.

Once your agency is set up, you can order all kinds of food and other products through our online system. Review our video-based Primarius training for assistance with this process.

No, the Food Bank of Iowa does not sell food. Donated food of all kinds is always distributed without any attached cost. We do charge a small shared maintenance fee (at maximum, $0.16 per pound) to defray shipping, handling and storage costs of certain types of food. As you’re ordering, you may see a Value Added Product (VAP) fee for boxes we purchase to package bulk items. 

For example, the Food Bank of Iowa purchased a shipment of beef ravioli and paid $0.83 per pound. With a shared maintenance fee of $0.16 per pound, the Food Bank of Iowa absorbs $0.69 per pound, or 83%, for the cost of that shipment. Our fundraising team works hard to fill in the gaps. 

Review our video-based Primarius training for assistance with this process. Contact us at 515-564-0330 if you still need help ordering. 

Please refer to our Online Ordering System Training Manual for instructions on how to place an order. If you are located in Region 5, please use R5 Online Ordering System Training Manual.

General Food Bank of Iowa Information

We deliver across our 55 county service area. Your regional partnership coordinator will work with your agency to receive direct delivery when the schedule allows. 

You do not need a loading dock to take delivery. Our driver will unload your order and bring it to your door. You are responsible for bringing your order into your facility. 

Contact your Regional Partnership Coordinator (RPC) to be added to a delivery. Your RPC is assigned based on your county.

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