River Bend Foodbank - Feeding the Hungry Since 1982Feeding Illinois / Feeding America donate now



Basic Foodbanking

River Bend Foodbank collects, stores and redistributes surplus food to other charities that serve the hungry. The Foodbank employs state-of-the-art systems for keeping inventory, ordering, and tracking millions of pounds of food from many different sources each year. Each agency orders what product they choose for people they serve. Foodbank staff members take orders from 300+ agencies, which are then “picked” from the warehouse, assembled, and made ready for distribution. These agencies include food pantries, which provide non-prepared food and other grocery products to those in need; soup kitchens which provide meals; programs that assist low-income elderly people and children and many other programs that reach out to people in this community. The quantity of food each agency orders is determined by the number of people served, how often distributions are held, plus practical elements like storage space and refrigeration. River Bend receives donated food from wholesalers, distributors and retailers. The Foodbank also receives food from both the State of Illinois and State of Iowa. Citizens from our own community can help the Foodbank by donating food through the two largest food drives in the Quad Cities: The Student Food Drive and the Letter Carrier Food Drive. Recently the foodbank began purchasing food at wholesale prices that is greatly needed and not often donated to help supplement our inventory and better meet the needs of our member agencies.


USDA Commodities

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a Federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food and nutrition assistance at no cost. This program significantly increases the amount and variety of food that food pantries and soup kitchens can provide to those in need.

River Bend Foodbank is the sole non-profit distributer for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in western Illinois and eastern Iowa.

Each state operates this program through their respective Departments of Human Services. In Illinois, the Foodbank delivers product to feeding sites in 17 counties. In Iowa we serve five counties. For map of counties, click here Food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters are involved in this program. Please be sure to link the Click here with the map of our counties.

Participation in the program is available to food pantries that have regular hours, have food available on an emergency basis and have privately donated food available in addition to USDA commodities. Soup kitchens must serve prepared meals to homeless, transient or other needy people. Eligibility guidelines for pantry use is 130% of the poverty level. Self-declaration is the method for establishing eligibility for USDA food at food pantries. People who receive prepared meals at soup kitchens are considered to be needy, and do not have to prove their monthly income.

To inquire about your agency’s eligibility and participation in our USDA programs, please contact mmiller@riverbendfoodbank.org.


Kids Cafe

Kids Cafe is an evening meal site for children who are risk of hunger. The program was developed nationally by Feeding America and has been implemented locally by River Bend Foodbank since 1995. Over 30,000 meals are served at our three Kids Cafe sites every year. The Foodbank works with a variety of nonprofit agencies that are committed to fighting childhood hunger in the Quad-Cities. In just Scott and Rock Island counties alone, 18% of children aged 17 and younger live below the poverty line.


FRIENDLY HOUSE (75 meals, 4 nights a week during the school year) 1221 Myrtle Davenport

BOYS & GIRLS CLUB (100 meals, 4 nights a week) 5th Ave. & 7th Street, Moline

UNITED NEIGHBORS 808 N Harrison St. Davenport, IA

Read the brochure (PDF)


Backpack Program

backpack program

The Backpack Program strives to ensure that children don’t go hungry over the weekend when there are no school meals for them to rely upon. The program serves approximately 2,600 children. Every Friday during the entire school year children participating in the Backpack Program receive free, nutritious food which they can take home in their backpacks and easily prepare at home. The Backpack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources such as school lunches or breakfasts are not available. The food is nutritious, child friendly, shelf stable and easily consumed. The Backpack Program is made possible in part by a grant from the John Deere Foundation.

Backpack Program Coordinator: Diane Erickson
563-345-6490 ext. 203

Read the brochure (PDF)


SNAP Outreach

River Bend Foodbank is traveling to its various food pantries with laptop in hand to help the pantry recipients who qualify to sign up for food stamps. Many who qualify for food stamps do not receive them because of obstacles such as misinformation or being intimidated by the initial form. With this program, River Bend works on-site at the pantries, and before the client leaves, we'll have the application already sent in to DHS! Applicants in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties will be able to follow up on their status at Project NOW Community Action Agency. Project NOW also provides Food Stamp Outreach on a walk in basis.

For more information on SNAP Outreach, please contact Diane Erickson, 563-345-6490 ext. 203 or email derickson@riverbendfoodbank.org


Food basketsMobile Food Pantries

Our Mobile Food Pantries are held 3 to 4 times a month and travel to the areas in our service area where the need is greatest. Each Mobile Food Pantry distribution provides about 10,000 meals and feeds hundreds of families. All the food is passed out in about two hours in a farmer's market style of distribution.

Mobile Food Pantry coordinator: Diane Erickson, derickson@riverbendfoodbank.org, 563-345-6490 ext. 203

For times and locations of mobile food pantries, please call 563-345-6490 ext. 200







Senior Hunger Initiative

This program begins at our warehouse with “repackaging parties” where volunteers assemble boxes with fresh produce for delivery to seniors in low income elderly housing. Our refrigerated trucks deliver the boxes filled with items such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and watermelons for distribution.

Foodbank volunteers then travel to the site to unload the food and help the residents get the boxes back to their apartments. Sadly, seniors are becoming a fast growing population of chronically hungry people in our service area and are often reluctant to reach out for help.

According to our latest hunger study, Hunger in America 2014, 11% of River Bend Foodbank’s clients are 65 years of age or older.




OASIS programOASIS Program

This program begins at our warehouse, where volunteers assemble boxes that contain fresh, nutritional produce like watermelon, apples, potatoes and squash, at our warehouse. The boxes are then delivered directly to trailer parks in the Quad City Area. The families we serve have limited access to fresh produce, with no grocery stores nearby. We call this lack of access a food desert.





School PantrySchool Pantry Program

In coordination with local schools, River Bend Foodbank operates school pantries. These pantries are safe places within a local school where students and their families are able to access a pantry stocked with items directly from our warehouse. All families who attend the pantry have student(s) at the school and are selected by school administrators as needy, before they receive pantry service. The goal of the program is to offset food insecurity for children at a critical point in their development. Studies have shown that food insecurity amongst school age children leads to behavioral issues, more health problems, and lower academic achievement. Also, developmental impairments are more common in children who deal with food insecurity. In order to assist this vulnerable demographic, the school pantries are open every other week where families can receive food. We could not run this program without the support of our schools and volunteers.




Senior Pantry Program

There are senior food pantries located in low-income senior apartment complexes. Volunteers (often seniors who live at the pantry site) come to the Foodbank to gather food and then stock, organize, and distribute the food to eligible seniors.

Sadly, seniors are becoming a fast growing population of chronically hungry people in our service area and are often reluctant to reach out for help. Many seniors travel to a nearby pantry via the bus system; however, many individuals cannot ride the bus because of disabilities or cannot easily transport food on and off the bus. According to our latest hunger study, Hunger in America 2014, 11% of River Bend Foodbank’s clients are 65 years of age or older.


[ Back to Top ]