DES MOINES — The Food Bank of Iowa reports its 2023 fiscal year broke every record in the organization’s 41-year history.
Organization C-E-O Michelle Book said it’s not something you want to see happen. “It’s certainly not a celebration to report record breaking numbers and all of our categories,” she says.
The food bank distributed 21 million pounds of food, an increase of four million pounds from the 2022 fiscal year. There were more than 661,000 households served by the Food Bank. “Month after month over the last 12 months we’ve seen bigger and bigger distributions that culminated in a 35 percent increase of households served across our 55 county service area,” Books says.
Book doesn’t see the need falling off anytime soon. “It’s just extraordinary. And I think what people aren’t seeing or what they don’t, they don’t see in their own in their own community or maybe in their own family, but it certainly exists, is that one in seven, one in seven working Iowa households is not making enough money to cover the cost of their basic needs,” Book says. “So some of this increase, a lot of this increase has to do with young families with children.”
She says those families are going to food pantries in their communities for the first time. And she says senior citizens or people living on disability payments are the other group that has turned to food banks. “Those average payments for Iowans fall about $10,000 short each year of covering the cost of your basic needs.”
You can help out with your support at foodbankiowa.org