River Bend Foodbank Celebrates 35th Anniversary

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River Bend Foodbank recently made a number of announcements related to the community-wide effort to end hunger in eastern Iowa and western Illinois:

  • The observance of River Bend Foodbank’s 35th Anniversary in 2017
  • Record distribution of 11.1 million meals in 2016, halfway to the 10-year goal of ending hunger
  • A specific initiative to close the Meal Gap in Scott County, which has the largest unmet need in the 22 counties they serve
  • Recognition of several donors who have made commitments toward ending hunger in Scott County, the QCA, and/or all 22 counties
  • Launch of their brand new and improved website, riverbendfoodbank.org

Currently, in the counties served by River Bend Foodbank, 125,220 people are missing 22.1 million meals. 1 in 8 people, and 1 in 5 children.

In 2014, 7.3 million meals were distributed in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.  A strategic plan was developed by River Bend’s Board of Directors, in 2015 with a goal to triple distribution in 10 years in order to meet the entire need. This is consistent with the Q2030 Regional Action Plan goal that no one goes hungry. With the distribution of 11.1 million meals in 2016, distribution now only needs to double. That means we are halfway there to feeding everyone.

Scott County has the largest meal gap in the 22 counties that River Bend Foodbank serves, with 22,000 people missing 4.1 million meals. Because of this, a strategy was launched in Scott County last year to close the meal gap in Scott County by the end of 2018.  With financial support from the John Deere Foundation, Regional Development Authority, Scott County Regional Authority, and Ascentra Credit Union Foundation, River Bend Foodbank is able to hire the staff needed to implement this strategy, as well as obtain the food needed.  Working with our Scott County Food Pantries, volunteers, and expansion of our Backpack, School Pantry, and Senior Pantry programs, we will work toward our goal of closing the meal gap in Scott County by the end of 2018.  This initiative will serve as a model for ending hunger in each of the counties that we serve.

“River Bend Foodbank is excited to reach the 11 million meal milestone, halfway to ending hunger in eastern Iowa and western Illinois,” said Michael Miller, Executive Director. “We are very thankful to the donors who have made commitments to closing the Meal Gap in Scott County, the Quad Cities, and each of the 22 counties we serve, and we invite the community to learn how they can get involved in the 35th Anniversary of River Bend Foodbank by visiting the new and improved riverbendfoodbank.org.”

In conjunction with our 35th anniversary, River Bend Foodbank has launched a new website. The new site will make it easier for users to take action against hunger by Donating, Volunteering and Getting Involved. It will also enable visitors to find partner agencies near them more efficiently.

River Bend Foodbank asks that everyone in the 22 counties they serve, join them in celebrating 35 years of feeding hungry people, to continue to work together to solve hunger in our communities. Together we can!

Welcome to our new and improved website!

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Welcome to the brand new and improved riverbendfoodbank.org!

We’ve given this website a complete makeover to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of River Bend Foodbank.

There’s lots to do while you’re here….

First of all, get educated on the issue of hunger. About 1 in 8 people in eastern Iowa and western Illinois do not have access to enough food to live an active, healthy lifestyle, and it’s 1 in 5 children. Meanwhile, this country throws away 40% of the food it produces. That’s enough food to feed everyone. Read that again. The only thing it would take literally to end hunger in our communities is for everyone to commit to never throwing away food that could still be eaten by someone in need.

Understand the difference between a food bank and a food pantry. A pantry is typically a small room at a church or community center where a hungry person can pick up food for their family. River Bend Foodbank is a 60,000 square foot distribution center that supplies 300 food pantries across 22 counties. If you’re interested in becoming an agency partner, you can find out about that here.

Figure out how you can connect. You can donate food, especially when it hits the “Donate Date” on the package, or when your grocer has a “Buy One Give One” sale. While you’re there, make sure your store is donating unsalable food rather than throwing it away. Keep asking until you get a good answer. Since every $1 provides 5 meals, your financial contributions are always appreciated. Sign up to volunteer here at the Foodbank or at one of our Mobile Food Pantries. Donating and volunteering are now easier than ever on this new site.

Most importantly, if you need food, we’ve provided resources here to help you find the pantries most convenient for you, with their locations and hours of operation. And there are toll free phone numbers, one for each state, if you need food assistance.

I urge you to get involved. Spread the word. There is no reason for a single person to go hungry in our communities. There is enough food to feed everyone. We’re just throwing it away.

Thanks for stopping by. Let us know what you think. Together We Can Solve Hunger.™


Michael P. Miller

Executive Director