Food Pantry vs. Food Bank

A food pantry is a room at a church, school, community center, or other local organization where a person experiencing hunger can go to get food in a time of need.

A food bank is a “hub,” a charitable organization that solicits, rescues, safely stores, and distributes millions of pounds of food at free or deeply discounted rates (approx. $0.05 per pound) to a network of hundreds of food pantries in a designated service region.

River Bend Food Bank is a nonprofit (501(c)3) organization that collects and distributes food to hunger relief partners across 23 counties in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. Food is rescued from sources in the food industry, like grocery stores and wholesalers, that have thousands of pounds of food to give away – food that would otherwise go to waste. The Food Bank also receives food and monetary donations through businesses and groups that host funds and food drives, through the annual Student Hunger Drive, and from generous individuals who believe – like we do – that no one should go hungry.

How Do We Distribute Food?

River Bend Food Bank operates three warehouse facilities to distribute food across our region.

Over 20 MILLION meals are distributed from the warehouses to hundreds of food pantries in the Food Bank’s network EVERY YEAR.

  • River Bend Food Bank operates three warehouse facilities to distribute food across our region.
  • The primary location is an 60,000 sq. ft. space in Davenport, Iowa with 10,000 sq. ft. of cooler/freezer storage for housing perishable foods like fresh produce, dairy products, and frozen proteins.
  • The second location is a 7,000 sq. ft. space in Dubuque, Iowa, with cooler/freezer space, that distributes food to Dubuque and Jackson counties.
  • The third and newest location is a 6,000 sq. ft. space in Galesburg, Illinois, with 4,000 sq. ft. of cooler/freezer space, that distributes food to eight counties in the southern and eastern region of our service area.
  • Partners (schools, churches, senior centers, community action organizations) order food from the Food Bank’s online system, along with miscellaneous items like pet food, infant formula, and personal hygiene products, and take them to their pantries. Children and adults in need visit the pantries to get the support they need.

Where Does the Food Go?

Learn about our programs and services

Can My Organization Get Food?

Learn how to join our network as a partner agency

Food Bank Locations

Contact one of our warehouses

Food Bank History & Mission

Read about how we got started and where we’re going



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