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Food bank fights hunger

Iowa distributed record amount of food in 2019

January 27, 2020
By Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer , Estherville News

The Food Bank of Iowa will be in Estherville on Thursday, Feb. 6 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Crossroads Community Church.

According to volunteer Brett Fuelberth, the December food bank in Estherville served over 9,800 pounds of food to 478 individuals.

Statewide, the Food Bank of Iowa reported it delivered more than 17 million pounds of food across the state in 2019.

Dylan Lampe, a spokesperson for the organization, said the record high total gives them mixed feelings.

"It was a 30 percent increase from the highest total we had previously. We were pretty excited to report those numbers, but then again, we are still not meeting the need that's out there," Lampe said.

The volume breaks down to well over one million pounds of food each month. While Iowa continues to report one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, Lampe said it's often working people who make use of the Iowa Food Bank's services.

"The vast majority of the clients that use the food pantries are working. Some of them are working more than one job. What we've seen is that wages have remained stagnant, and while unemployment is low, we haven't really seen that affect our need for services. For the last decade, food insecurity numbers have remained very steady around that ten percent range," Lampe said.

The Food Bank of Iowa faces challenges paying for trucks and fuel and everything needed to supply and deliver the food.

Lampe said individuals or groups are encouraged to tour the Food Bank of Iowa's facility.

"Once you see the vast operation that happens here and the really amazing work that our distribution center does on a day-to-day basis, it kind of changes the mindset of folks to give them a better understanding of how the whole process works."

The Food Bank of Iowa continues to seek out sources of donated food; one success has been the Food Rescue program, in which retailers donate food that would traditionally go to the landfill food that's still nutritious, still good, just something stores may want to pull from their shelves for a variety of reasons.

The Food Bank can always use donations of food, money and volunteer time, Lampe said. For more information go to



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