Gift provides over half a million meals for Iowa's food insecure families impacted by COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for an increasing number of Iowans, including the most basic need of food security. The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), the state’s largest, grassroots farm organization, today announced a $100,000 donation to the Iowa Food Bank Association (IFBA) to help feed the need for Iowans across the state who are impacted during this unprecedented time.

According to IFBA, with several businesses temporarily closed leaving people without work, food banks and the food bank network of 1,200 nonprofit partner agencies in Iowa are seeing up to four times the number of new requests for food assistance since the pandemic began. IFBA and its member food banks are 99 percent funded through private and public donations and is completely reliant upon the generosity of Iowans to provide meals to all areas in every county throughout Iowa. The six regional nonprofit food banks serving Iowa include River Bend Foodbank, Food Bank of Iowa, Northeast Iowa Food Bank, Food Bank for the Heartland, Food Bank of Siouxland and HACP Food Reservoir.

“We recognize this is an especially difficult time for so many Iowans,” said IFBF President Craig Hill. “Iowa farmers have always pulled together to help their communities out during challenging times, and the Farm Bureau family is happy to do what we can to help bridge the food gap in our communities during this crisis.”

In addition to the $100,000 donation, IFBF will provide a match up to $500 to any of Iowa’s 100 county Farm Bureaus that have made a donation to their food bank from March 1, 2020 through April 24, 2020. The locally raised funds will either go to the food pantry in that county, if one exists, or to fund a mobile food pantry that serves the county.

According to the IFBA, for every dollar they receive, they are able to distribute 5.5 meals to Iowans in need. IFBF’s donation will provide a minimum of 550,000 meals for Iowans struggling through this challenging time.

“COVID-19 has significantly strained our resources and amplified the demand for food in every corner of the state,” said Linda Gorkow, Executive Director, Iowa Food Bank Association. “This generous gift from the Iowa Farm Bureau comes at a crucial time and will make a tremendous impact helping us meet our increase in demand for food assistance across the state.”

In addition to the need for monetary donations, the food banks serving Iowa are facing a significant decline in volunteers to pack boxes and assist at mobile food pantries. The majority of food bank volunteers are seniors who are in the ‘at-risk’ category for COVID-19 and have not been able to assist. Volunteers are now needed to help package food for seniors and families. For more information about how you can feed the need in Iowa, please visit