Records shattered as more Iowans seek help with food

by | Dec 8, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Food Bank of Iowa and its partners across 55 counties continue to serve more and more neighbors who need food assistance. For 19 months, new records have been set as the number of Iowans facing food insecurity continues to climb at an alarming rate, says Food Bank of Iowa CEO Michelle Book.

“As the pandemic lessened in 2022, food insecurity increased,” Book said. “Today, 36% of hardworking Iowa families and many folks living on fixed incomes do not make enough money to cover the cost of basic needs. This is a social injustice we can no longer ignore.”

In November alone, the food bank distributed a record 2.15 million pounds of food, topping the previous record set in October 2020 during the height of the pandemic. More than 191,000 individuals (42% are children) and 71,000 households continue to be served by Food Bank of Iowa pantries each month. Thousands more sought help last month through meal sites supported by Food Bank of Iowa, with more than 175,000 meals served.

“We see no end in sight,” Book said. “Strengthening anti-hunger programs in the next Farm Bill will help. I encourage fellow Iowans to reach out to federal lawmakers today to encourage a strong Farm Bill. A fully funded Farm Bill supports folks facing food insecurity, it helps farmers, and it ensures national security. America should not be a country where children go to bed hungry.”

About Food Bank of Iowa
Established in 1982, Food Bank of Iowa provides nutritious food for Iowa children, families, seniors and veterans to lead full and active lives, strengthening their communities. Serving 55 of Iowa’s 99 counties, Food Bank of Iowa delivers more than 21 million pounds of food (more than 17 million meals) to its 700 partners annually. Learn more at