What Food Banks in Des Moines Need


Food insecurity has become a major consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic. Many have lost income as a result of shut-downs and canceled events, but one should not have to choose between feeding their family or keeping the lights on and home warm.

If you find yourself needing assistance or are in the position to help with a donation, The Greater Des Moines Metro has several resources, below are a couple. 

If you are looking for ways to support food banks in Des Moines, this list is for you too. Learn what items are needed most and how you can help those in need. 

Food Banks in Des Moines Area 

Food Bank of Iowa

Food Bank of Iowa gathers and distributes nutritious food to partners who then distribute to Iowans in need. They serve 55 of Iowa’s 99 counties and have over 600 partners who distribute food. Food Bank of Iowa partners with food pantries, shelters, school pantries, community meal sites, Veteran Affairs, and more. Their mission is to provide food for Iowa children, families, and seniors to lead full and active lives, strengthening the communities where they live. In 2020, Food Bank of Iowa delivered over 1 million pounds of food to DMARC pantries, 10.5 million pounds within Central Iowa, and 21 million pounds to partners across their 55 county service area. 

How to Help

Food Bank of Iowa’s volunteer center is open and accepting volunteers. You can sign-up on their website. Volunteers sort and pack food that will be delivered to their partners. Remote volunteer opportunities are available, learn more here.

Ways to Donate

Food Bank of Iowa can make $1 provide up to 4 meals. This means monetary donations of any amount helps feed a family in need and go a long way. Donating funds also ensures they have the ability to purchase much-needed items to fill inventory needs. It is actually the most efficient donation because of the relationships established with food processors and wholesalers. You can help by making a monetary donation here.

If you prefer to make a donation of food items, the most needed items include:

  • Proteins
    • Canned meat
    • Canned fish (e.g. tuna or salmon)
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned soup
  • Dry pasta
  • Breakfast items (including cereal)
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Paper and personal products (e.g., toothpaste, soap, and toilet paper)

Nutritious and low sodium items are very important to providing healthy meals.

Heat or Eat

When winter weather drives up utility bills, many Iowans have to choose between heating their home or buying groceries. Food Bank of Iowa is focused on filling the food need so Iowans won’t have to decide whether to heat or eat. Thirty more food delivery truck routes are running today than this time in 2020. This month they will ramp up capacity with the addition of a semi-tractor and a 40-foot trailer

“No one should have to choose between a full stomach and a warm home,” president and CEO Michelle Book said. “However, adding routes and trucks is expensive, with every hour of trucking costing $75. With your help, we will continue to meet the unprecedented need across our 55-county service area, providing a safety net for vulnerable Iowans in need of food.”

The Grimes Storehouse

The Grimes Storehouse is a community pantry offering not only food and necessities but also one that teaches skills required for life. It is an expansion of the former Grimes Community Food Pantry and is currently the only food pantry physically located in Grimes. As the Grimes community has grown, so has the need for supporting food-insecure families in the community.

All food and services are provided free of charge to Grimes individuals and families.

How to Help

The Grimes Storehouse loves to have you join us in serving the community! Types of volunteer opportunities include:

  • Shopping volunteers
  • Food curriers
  • youth volunteers (age 14+)

For more information or to sign-up to volunteer, visit their website

Ways to Donate

All food supplies are either donated to The Grimes Storehouse by individuals, local businesses, organizations, groups, and schools or purchased with monetary donations.

There is always a need for non-perishable goods, such as canned food, boxed dinners, crackers, as well as personal care, and household items. For a complete list of needed items, visit their website,

Items may be brought to The Storehouse during business hours (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) or dropped-off at Grimes Fareway (just inside the entrance), Grimes United Methodist Church (Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.) and other participating Grimes churches.

Monetary donations are always greatly appreciated and allow The Storehouse to purchase items that are most needed. Donations can be made here.

“As the area continues to grow, so does the number of those facing challenges of food insecurity. We are amazed and so blessed at how the Grimes community continues to rally around and support The Grimes Storehouse with their labor, love, and gifts. We look forward to continuing to work together in our mission to serve and reduce or eliminate hunger in our community,” says Jennifer Harrington of The Grimes Storehouse.

Whether you can give your time, money, or donate items, the demand for food banks in Des Moines is higher than ever in our community. Continued support is vital to ensure no one goes hungry.

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Stacie is an Iowa native, living in Urbandale with her tall, dark, and handsome husband, Kyle (May 2014). They share their home with the lights of their life, their son, Calvin (August 2015), and daughter Sylvia (April 2019). They have a dog, Heidi, a cat, Frankie, and a Beta fish, JoJo. By day, Stacie is the Director of Development for Animal Lifeline of Iowa. By night, she’s a kid-chaser, Pinterest-recipe chef, Instant-Pot meal creator, thrift-shop find make-over artist, DIY project amateur who enjoys reading, hanging out with her family...along with an occasional girls’ night out.


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