Sunni Kegebein is the Development Manager with the Waterloo-based Northeast Iowa Food Bank, which serves around 40,000 people in 16 counties.
“It doesn’t matter how much money you can donate or how much food, every little bit counts,” Kegebein says.
“For every dollar that is donated to the food bank, that equates almost $12 worth of food we can distribute.”
The World Watch Institute reports Americans generate three times as much food waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than they do the rest of the year. Kegebein says Iowans, before they throw out what’s left behind from Christmas gatherings, should look to see if any untouched store-bought items remain. Food banks will accept things like bread, produce and canned meat that have an expiration date.
“Perishable items are most definitely welcomed here at the food bank. We like those because we really strive to provide nutritious meals for all of our clients,” Kegebein said. The Northeast Iowa Food Bank accepts products near expiration date, seasonal items, and slightly dented/damaged product.
Also, the food bank is always looking for items like peanut butter, fruit juices, and boxed meals such as Hamburger Helper. The food bank does not accept homemade or home canned products.
By Addison Speck, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids