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In the NewsMission in Action

When Hunger Called, the Community Responded

By December 20, 2022No Comments

Together, the Quad Cities Community Foundation and 12 other local funders and individual donors have raised $224,000 to help River Bend Food Bank feed children, adults, and seniors facing hunger this winter.

Catalyzed by a commitment of $50,000 from the Community Foundation and a match challenge from the Hubbell-Waterman Foundation, the joint fundraising effort exceeded its $200,000 goal in just two weeks, reflecting the urgent need for support and the Quad Cities community’s ability to come together decisively around a common cause.

“This community’s generosity never fails to inspire us,” said Sue Hafkemeyer, the Community Foundation’s president and CEO. “We steadfastly believe that we can do more together than we can alone—and what a tremendous demonstration of that belief. As funders, it’s imperative for us to respond to needs that arise in our region and join forces in addressing them. For the donors who contributed to help the food bank combat hunger this winter, we have so much admiration and gratitude.”

This year, the food donations the food bank relies on to supply its 400 hunger-relief partners are down 40 percent, reducing the variety and quantity of no-cost food available to those partners, which include food pantries, schools, senior residences, and community organizations. While they can use their own resources to purchase additional food to distribute to their guests, those organizations may be feeling some of the same economic straits as the people they serve. The $224,000 raised will allow the food bank to bridge that gap and meet increased needs for the next six to nine months while it works to implement additional food-security plans.

“We strive to keep our finger on the pulse of needs and opportunities in our community, and as soon as the food shortage crisis came to light, we knew we could help bring our community’s collaborative powers to bear,” said Hafkemeyer.

“At a time when food insecurity continues to rise, the timing of the Community Foundation’s campaign was perfect,” said Nancy Renkes, president and CEO of River Bend Food Bank. “Our board of directors, team members, and especially the children and adults facing hunger in our region are grateful for this amazing contribution that will provide more than one million meals to those in need. This is the kind of support that truly puts the word ‘community’ in the Community Foundation.”

Randy and Debra Sergesketter were two of the community members who gave from their Community Foundation fund. “We always feel good about giving back to our community, and the connections the Community Foundation helps us make ensure our gifts have a larger impact,” they said. “The food bank is critical, and no Quad Citizens should go hungry this winter.”

A local business with a history of community impact stepped in to help, too. “We are pleased to join the Quad Cities Community Foundation and other community donors in helping the River Bend Food Bank fight local food insecurities,” said Linda Andry, president and CEO of Ascentra Credit Union. “Since food donations are down and insecurity is rising, the time to come together as a community to combat these crucial issues is now. Ascentra is committed to supporting our members and the communities that we serve, and encourage others to get involved through volunteering and donations.”

Additional monetary donations to the food bank are welcome now and throughout the year to support its work with its hunger-relief partners, school pantry programs, senior hunger initiatives, and senior pantry programs. Each year, the food bank distributes nearly 20 million meals across 23 counties in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. In the region, one in 10 adults—and one in seven children—faces food insecurity, forcing them to make difficult decisions between food and paying for housing, medical care, or transportation, as well as compromise on nutrition. Thanks to economies of scale and the food bank’s food sourcing and rescue partnerships, every dollar donated to the food bank can provide five meals for those in need.

The following funders and donors contributed to this special effort for River Bend Food Bank:

  • Ascentra Credit Union
  • Doris & Victor Day Foundation
  • Duncan J. Cameron Family Foundation Fund
  • Hubbell-Waterman Foundation
  • John J. and Bette J. Schmid Endowment
  • Kenneth and Sharon Glassman Fund
  • Kleine Family Foundation Endowment
  • Morency Family Charitable Giving Fund
  • Paul and Beverly Eckert Fund
  • Quad Cities Community Foundation
  • Randal and Mrs. Debra Sergesketter
  • Regional Development Authority
  • Rock Island Community Foundation