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.
For over 35 years we have proven that we can handle uncertainty. The infrastructure, partnerships, and generous support that we rely on to feed northeast Iowa continues to let us face everyday's new challenges.
And as we look ahead, we must continue to strengthen our infrastructure and lead our communities towards viable food-insecurity solutions, so that we can feed our neighbors experiencing hunger every day.
We like to think of our strategic plan as a recipe - a recipe to Close The Meal Gap in northeast Iowa by 2025. The rallying cry behind this way of thinking is why we say "Let's Fix Dinner". But this isn't just a motto, it's a call to action.
County Service Area
People Served (monthly)
Cedar Valley Sites
We receive, rescue, and purchase all varieties of food, being mindful of cultural, dietary, and situational necessities of our clients and our partners.
Food is sorted and stored, to be ordered, assembled, and delivered throughout our vast 16-county service area.
We partner with over 200 agencies, including schools, pantries, churches, community meal-sites, senior centers, day cares and other non-profits.
The children, seniors, families, and individuals who experience chronic or situational hunger, are the ones who benefit from the public, private, and individual support we receive.