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BACKPACK PROGRAM

Throughout the school year, the River Bend Foodbank partners with school and non-profit after school programs to provide children with food to take home over the weekend.

Each week, our partner sites receive bags of food for the children participating in the program. The bags of food are discreetly placed in a backpack and sent home with each child on Fridays to sustain them through the weekend. The program is operated with respect for the children’s confidentiality.

If you have any questions regarding the Backpack Program, please contact derickson@riverbendfoodbank.org.

HOSPITAL PANTRY

The Hospital Food Pantry works to address food insecurity with both patients and employees. It fills the therapeutic gap by linking the hospital staff to patients in need. Employees and patients are identified by the staff and then directed to the pantry that is located within the hospital. The pantry distributes food that promotes physical health, prevents future illness and facilitates recovery among patients. That same healthy food is also distributed to employees that need the assistance to stabilize their families so they can perform their jobs successfully.

MOBILE FOOD PANTRY

Our Mobile Food Pantries are held 10 to 15 times a month and travel throughout our service area where the need is greatest. Each Mobile Food Pantry distribution provides about 12,000 meals and feeds hundreds of people. 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 option 1

SCHOOL 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 twice a month where families can receive food. We could not run this program without the support of our schools and volunteers.

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.

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.

SNAP OUTREACH

To apply for food stamps, call toll free:

844-901-3663 (if residing in IL)

855-944-3663 (if residing in IA)

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

USDA COMMODITIES

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a Federal program that helps supplement the diets of low-income Americans 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 eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

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.

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 185% 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 bevans@riverbendfoodbank.org.

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