Christmas time is the time of year when our thoughts turn to those less fortunate than us. In Northeast Iowa, the good people at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank are preparing for their busiest time of the year.
A vital role
The Northeast Iowa Food Bank provides nutritious food and groceries to non-profit organisations and less fortunate folk across Northeast Iowa. The Bank also provides an important educational service by offering hunger education programs to those in need within the community.
The Food Bank serves sixteen counties across Northeast Iowa from the east to the Mississippi River, south to Poweshiek County and north to the Minnesota border. Communities covered by the service are: Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Floyd, Mitchell, Delaware, Butler, Grundy, Poweshiek, Chickasaw, Fayette, Tama, Howard and Winneshiek.
Back in 1981, several good people decided that there was sufficient need in their community to start a food pantry. The Cedar Valley Food Bank was convened with a board of 24 elected directors. With a tiny staff including just eight volunteers the CVFB helped 1,200 needy households during the first eight months of its existence.
Donations began to arrive from around the state; more volunteers were rounded up and even Highway Patrolmen helped to unload delivery trucks. Over the last 30 years the original operation has evolved into a fully-fledged Food Bank which now distributes millions of pounds of food across over 200 agencies throughout sixteen Northeast Iowa counties. Grants from the government together with donations and support from the United Way, churches, local businesses and individuals keep the Food Bank operating.
Hunger can sadly never be eliminated but the invaluable service provided by the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and their supporters certainly helps to alleviate it.
National support network
Feeding America is the U.S. biggest hunger relief charity and boasts over 200 food bank members in its network including The Northeast Iowa Food Bank. Feeding America serves all fifty states across the nation together with Puerto Rico and Columbia.
Challenge yourself and help others too!
If you’d like to help the Food Bank and kick start your ‘get fit’ resolution for 2014 too, sign up for the 30 Days to Fit Challenge in January. Just fifteen new participants are all that's needed to gain a donation of $1,000 to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.
Here’s the link you need to sign up for the challenge and to find out more about what the Food Bank do and how you can help them.