Maybe you’ve heard the news about how the unemployment rate is going down. The economy is crawling out of recession, the housing market is rebounding and the new iPhone is breaking sales records.

But at food pantries in Iowa and nationwide, the need remains great. At last week’s Iowa Hunger Summit, food-relief leaders said they often see families arrive up to two hours early whenever a mobile food pantry sets up in their rural Iowa towns.

"The media gives the impression that the Great Recession is over, but we know it’s not over for everybody," said Corey Berkenes, executive director of the Iowa Food Bank Association, at the 2014 Iowa Hunger Summit in Des Moines.

"There are still people out there who aren’t ...