What We Do
River Bend Foodbank, a non –profit 501(c)(3) organization, collects wholesome donations of food from the food industry for distribution to more than 300 charitable community organizations that support the hungry. Located in Davenport, Iowa, River Bend Foodbank has 60,000 square feet of warehouse space. Our facilities include a 3,600 square foot freezer/cooler unit with almost 4,000 cubic feet of frozen and cold storage. This allows the Foodbank to handle donations of grocery product that our member charities are unable to handle on their own. The Foodbank’s service area includes the Quad Cities and 22 counties in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. River Bend Foodbank leads the way as the most cost effective distributor of donated food in the community. The food that our member agencies receive is free, with a shared maintenance fee included on most items to help defray the cost of transporting, soliciting, collecting, sorting, inspecting and distributing the food that serve families in need. For every $1 donated, we can distribute $10 worth of food. Our partner agency programs save millions of dollars each year by using our food distribution program. We also provide direct service to hungry kids through our Kids Cafés which serves thousands of meals annually. In the fall of 2007 the Foodbank implemented the Backpack Program which has grown to serve 1300 needy children on a weekly basis.
Local Charities Rely on River Bend Foodbank
Member agencies include food pantries, homeless and domestic violence shelters, soup kitchens, childcare agencies, after-school snack programs, residential treatment facilities and more. Collectively, these programs are the food safety net for tens of thousands of struggling individuals and families in the 22 counties served by River Bend Foodbank. In partnership with the community, the food industry, the government and fellow local charities, we are helping to provide thousands of nutritious meals every week. Together, we are reducing hunger every day right here in the Quad Cities. While the Foodbank does not directly serve individuals in need at the warehouse, we can provide information to those in need of food assistance. Search our directory if you need food.
Donated Food-From Waste to Valuable Resource
River Bend and Feeding America actively solicits food manufacturers, encouraging them to donate excess food rather than dumping it or selling it on the secondary market. Because of the speed in which the food is distributed, staffers continually work to keep the warehouse inventory full. Providing hunger education and working with government at all levels to end hunger in the United States is also a priority. Over 200 corporate food donors including manufacturers, growers, wholesalers, grocers and even restaurants donate nutritious food to the foodbank. Donated food includes overproduced or discontinued items, frozen foods, dairy products, mislabeled goods, dented cans, day-old breads and pastries, and odd-sized produce. Local farmers and gardeners provide fresh produce. Additionally, individuals, businesses and civic organizations conduct food drives including the Student Food Drive and the Letter Carrier Food Drive to benefit River Bend Foodbank and its member agencies.
USDA and Food Purchasing Program
Corporate donations follow food industry trends, and since foodbanks can't control the types of items donated, available foodstuffs can vary from week to week. The foodbank is always looking for ways to save partner agencies money and increasing the variety of food available. One way we do this is by purchasing truckload quantities of other foods, working with other foodbanks to gain additional purchase power, and provide high-demand items for a low cost. The USDA Commodities is another important component of the inventory. As one of eight foodbanks that are sole distributors of USDA product for food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in Illinois, River Bend Foodbank follows stringent guidelines for allocating government supplied food, in addition to frequent inspections and an annual organization-wide audit. The Foodbank also distributes commodities to its five Iowa counties.
River Bend Foodbank was the 58th foodbank to become an accredited member of Feeding America, The Nation’s Foodbank Network. Feeding America is a network of more than 200 foodbanks and food rescue organizations in the United States. Through Second Harvest, we cooperate with other member foodbanks to receive food from national corporate food donors and benefit from national promotions and fundraising campaigns for organizations such as Wal-Mart, Kraft, Barilla, General Mills, etc. It was largely due to the efforts of Feeding America that foodbanks started sprouting up all over the nation in the early 80s. River Bend has been an accredited member of Feeding America the past 26 years!