At the Northeast Iowa Food Bank we are driven by our core beliefs that hunger is unacceptable; that everyone deserves access to enough food; that food sustains life and nourishes health; and that we are called to serve neighbors in need without judgement.
In 1981, several community members got together and decided there was enough need in the area to start a food pantry. The Francis Grout School had closed and permission was granted to run the pantry out of one room in the old school house. The Cedar Valley Food Bank was incorporated and a board of 24 directors was elected in July. The Cedar Valley Food Bank served 1,200 households during that first period of approximately 8 months. In 1986 we joined the National Second Harvest movement (now known as Feeding America) and we grew in one year from a pantry to a food bank serving over 100 agencies in 16 counties.
The food pantry evolved into a Food Bank, which now distributes millions of pounds of food to over 200 agencies through 16 Northeast Iowa counties. Programs such as Kids Cafe, BackPack Program, Elderly Nutrition Boxes, Mobile Food Pantries also evolved to meet the growing needs of a growing community.