The demand for food assistance has pushed the state’s largest food bank past a “milestone.”
“We now average a distribution of one million pounds of food a month, but even a million pounds is not enough,” says Danny Akright of the Food Bank of Iowa.
The organization distributes food to about 500 organizations in 55 counties and it has set a new goal. The Food Bank of Iowa wants to double its output and distribute two million pounds of food per month.
“Throughout Iowa, roughly 375,000 Iowans struggle with food insecurity — the lack of access at all times to enough food to lead an active, healthy life,” Akright says. “More than 121,000 of these Iowans are kids.”
The Food Bank of Iowa was established in 1982, during the Farm Crisis. According to its website, the organization has distributed more than 163 million meals in the past 35 years. The Food Bank of Iowa works with food pantries and homeless shelters as well as veterans organizations and schools.
“Food insecurity is pervasive throughout our country, affecting every single county in our state and every other,” Alright says. “It strikes big cities, small towns, suburbs, everywhere. It burdens parents, grandparents, kids, veterans, those struggling with serious health issues.”
The most recent figures from the USDA indicate about 13 percent of Iowans regularly skip meals because they do not have enough food. The Food Bank of Iowa serves counties in northwest, north central, central, southern and southeast Iowa.