Iowa Food Banks celebrate Earth Day, rescue 27 million pounds of food annually

HACAP Food Reservoir truck completes a route to pick up food that is on the verge of going bad from local retailers. 
Published: April 21, 2024 at 7:00 PM
DES MOINES, Iowa - This Earth Day, the Iowa Food Bank Association is proud to announce that 27,159,465 pounds of food was rescued in 2023 by the six Feeding America member food banks serving Iowa. As one of those members, HACAP Food Reservoir and its partners contributed 4,607,869 pounds in FY 2023 to this number.  
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), up to 40% of the U.S. food supply is wasted every year. Food banks rely on retail rescue to meet the growing and record need for food assistance. Preventing wholesome food from going to the landfill is the very reason food banking began.  

“Food rescue is a primary function of food banks,” said Linda Gorkow, executive director, Iowa Food Bank Association. “Food banks rescue perfectly good packaged and uncooked food that is safe to eat and use it to help feed those in our communities who do not have enough food.” 

By working with grocery and convenience stores, manufacturers, growers, and restaurants, IFBA food banks can supplement their inventories, keep pantry shelves stocked, and bring food waste down to as low as 3%. 
Food banks adhere to strict food handling, temperature, and storage guidelines to ensure the food they distribute is safe. The food they rescue may be mislabeled, close-dated, or need to be repackaged in some way. Fresh produce may not be the perfect size or shape, Or a donor may simply have a surplus. Food banks make sure good food that might otherwise be discarded instead goes to neighbors facing hunger.  
To learn more about food rescue and how you can help prevent waste, contact your local food bank (Food Bank of Iowa, Food Bank for the Heartland, Food Bank of Siouxland, HACAP, Northeast Iowa Food Bank, or River Bend Food Bank) or visit  


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