Food-bank-logoWhile Iowa’s economy improves and the state’s unemployment rate falls, experts say the number of hungry Iowans remains the same. Carey Miller is executive director of the Food Bank of Iowa.

“So what we’re seeing is this is a chronic issue,” Miller says. “…Hunger does not discriminate. It affects children, families and seniors. In fact, 49 percent of the clients that we serve are children and seniors. In our service area, 29 percent of the seniors served are caretakers for their grandchildren.”

An estimated 1 in 8 Iowans are “food insecure” according to an analysis by Feeding America, a nonprofit group that represents the nation’s food banks. “But hunger is not a number or a statistic,” Miller says. “It’s a person.” The Food Bank of Iowa and corporate sponsors today announced a food drive that will culminate with the annual “Yankee Doodle Pops” concert on the steps of the Iowa statehouse on Thursday, July 2nd.

A crowd of 100,000 is expected. Starting today, non-perishable food items may be dropped off at Des Moines metro area Hy-Vee stores, Casey’s convenience stores and Bank of the West branches. Organizers are aiming to collect 30,000 pounds of food in the next month.