The executive director of the Food Bank of Iowa says a large food and fund raising drive by state employees is happening at a critical time. Carey Miller says the effort that began last week and runs through this Friday will raise tens-of-thousand of dollars and hundreds-of-thousands of pounds of food for needy Iowans.
“What’s so critical is we have a little more (demand) this year because the need is so great,” Miller said. “Families are struggling to put food on the table.” The Food Bank of Iowa serves 285 agencies such as homeless shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens in 42 counties. Miller says those agencies are busy all year round.
“But, right now we kind of have a special time of the year when kids are getting out of school and don’t have access to school breakfast and lunch,” Miller said. “So, families that are struggling now have to find a way to put additional meals on the table at home.” The demand for food assistance in the state has been on the rise the last few years.
“We’ve seen a 30-percent increase in people accessing emergency food and that’s the largest jump that we’ve seen in a long time,” Miller said. That 30% increase was recorded in an Iowa Hunger Study conducted late last year compared to a report from 2005.