There are many facets to food waste reduction. There's using what we have, eating leftovers, composting, etc. But the one that affects the social side of food waste reduction is donating excess to food banks, soup kitchens and shelters. Those in need benefit greatly from the services and food these entities provide, and 25 of these facilities across the state will be getting funding to purchase additional equipment for refrigeration and freezer needs.
That's why the IWRC was all on board when the Iowa Food Bank Association requested help putting together a Solid Waste Alternatives Program grant proposal to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Our original food waste project was funded through this program so we were familiar with the process.
The IFBA proposal sought to receive $25,000 in order to provided increased refrigeration and freezer capacities to food pantries across the state. The proposal was accepted and pantries were able to apply to receive up to $1,000 towards equipment purchases.
“This is an incredible opportunity to address hunger and food waste,” says Cory Berkenes, State Director of the IFBA. “Storage capacity at many of the food pantries around the state is a real issue; collaborating on this project to offer solutions to these issues is mutually beneficial.”
Our Associate Director, Dan Nickey, explains that the overall goal of the project is two-fold. “Over 19% of children in Iowa are food insecure. We need to find ways to get more food to children and families in need,” he says. “At the same time, Americans are throwing away 40% of their food into the landfill.” Providing the food pantries with increased capacities will provide more food to those in need, and reduce the amount of food wasted in the landfill.
The recipients of the funding include:
- Caring Hands Food Pantry, Altoona
- Camanche Food Pantry, Camanche
- Community Basket, Ida Grove
- Community Ministries, Inc., Marcus
- Coralville Ecumenical Food Pantry, Coralville
- Epworth United Methodist Church, Epworth
- First Assembly of God, Indianola
- Hamukua Youth Center, Washington
- Heartland Youth For Christ, Cedar Rapids
- Heritage Word of Life Assembly of God, Mitchellville
- His Hands Food Pantry, Oran
- IC Compassion Food Pantry, Iowa City
- Monroe County Helping Hands Center, Inc., Albia
- Morningside Lutheran Church, Sioux City
- New Life Assembly, Manchester
- Operation Threshold, Grundy Center
- PCM Food Pantry, Monroe
- Postville Community Support, Postville
- Prince of Peace Food Pantry, Davenport
- The Ruth Project, Church of the Open Bible, Iowa Falls
- Salvation Army, Ames
- Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Pocahontas
- Upper Des Moines Opportunity, Storm Lake
- Vineyard Community Church, Waverly
- Word of Faith Tabernacle, Davenport
Recipients were chosen based on need by a committee made up of members of the IFBA, Iowa food banks and the IWRC. The recipients will receive funds to off-set the expenses of purchasing the additional freezers or refrigerators.
Congratulations to the recipients!