One in 14 Iowans is facing hunger. Iowa has many resources to help, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, dhs.iowa.gov/food-assistance, food banks, and food pantries—including mobile pantries!
Iowa Food Bank’s mobile pantry operates in 30 counties; many provide a drive-thru option. How does the mobile food pantry work?
Trucks deliver produce, meat, bread, and nonperishable items to the prearranged site.
Local volunteers set up a farmers market-style distribution system.
Food is given to people in need at the scheduled time.
Participants stay in the vehicle and unlock the trunk or backseat.
Volunteers safely place a prepackaged food box or bag in the designated area.
Volunteers reset the space to its original condition when the food is gone.
To see if there is a mobile food pantry near you, family, or friends who may be in need, visit Food Bank of Iowa, go.iastate.edu/RZLEVJ.
More than 38 million adults and children in the United States are going hungry. In Iowa, 1 in 11 Iowans face hunger. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the nation’s largest anti-hunger federal program. It fights poverty by improving access to affordable and nutritious food. SNAP allows individuals and families with limited income to buy food. It can also be used to buy seeds and plants to grow food.
People can use SNAP benefits at grocery stores, convenience stores, and even farmers markets, bit.ly/3B6xYdc! Farmers markets sell fresh, local produce that help you enjoy the taste of summer.
If you need help completing the online or paper application, you may contact your local DHS office. You can also call the Iowa SNAP Hotline, 855-944-3663, to speak with someone who can help with the SNAP application. The hotline is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
In 2019, more than 35 million people in the United States struggled with hunger. Hunger is the physical sensation of discomfort due to not getting enough food. Every community in the country has families who struggle with food insecurity. Food insecurity is the lack of money or other financial resources for food. The pandemic has only increased the number of people facing food insecurity and hunger.
Living with food insecurity and hunger affects our mental and physical health. For children, hunger makes it difficult to concentrate and learn at school. Long periods of food insecurity can negatively impact growth and development in children and accelerate aging in older adults. Food insecurity increases the risk of infectious disease, chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease, and anxiety and depression.
Ways you can help:
Donate—If you are able, donate money and/or healthy foods to your local food bank or food pantries. Check out options for healthy food pantry donations at https://bit.ly/38Gmmkv.
Host a Food Drive—Contact your local food pantry for information on how to start a food drive.
Volunteer—Food banks and pantries can always use extra help. Spending just a few hours once or twice a month volunteering will make you feel great, too.
Spread the Word—Many people are unaware of the resources available in their community or how they can fight hunger.
If you or someone you know needs help, these resources are available:
Iowa Food Assistance Hotline, 855-944-FOOD (3663), to speak with someone about the Food Assistance Application. 2-1-1 connects callers to resources such as food pantries and support for older adults and persons with disabilities (such as home health services).