As the Northeast Iowa Food Bank braces for a dramatic increase in people seeking food as a result of record high unemployment rates – an increase that many Food Banks around the country have already began to struggle with – they urge those who are now suddenly dealing with hunger to not be afraid to use their services.

The NE IA Food Bank offers seven different programs specializing in providing food for northeast Iowa’s vulnerable populations. According to their press release, here's an update on new developments surrounding each of these programs:

Cedar Valley Food Pantry is open, operating under a drive though only model. As clients drive up, they will be checked in, and their vehicles will be loaded with food by staff and volunteers. Participants are asked to stay in their vehicles, and do not need to schedule their monthly visit. The new hours are: Monday-Thursday, 9AM-3PM, and Friday from 9AM-12PM.
Mobile Food Pantries will continue to operate during their normal schedules, times, and at their normal locations, also utilizing the drive-through model where participants are asked to stay in their cars while their groceries are loaded for them. An additional emergency Mobile Food Pantry will take place at the Jordan River Pantry, in Charles City on April 8th at 12:00PM .
BackPack distributions will continue to take place in partnership with over 100 northeast Iowa schools. For Waterloo area residents, schools will be distributing BackPacks every Friday until further notice. For parents and guardians interested in learning more about how their child can receive a BackPack, call 319-235-0507 and ask for more information.
Kid’s Café Program is working with Boys and Girls Club and the YMCA to provide meals and snacks to children as schools remain closed, at the following locations:
o YMCA: 669 S Hackett, Waterloo
o Boys & Girls Club Waterloo: 515 Lime St, Waterloo
o Boys & Girls Club Evansdale: 3574 Lafayette St, Evansdale
o Boys & Girls Club Teen and Educational Center : 815 E 4th St, Waterloo
Elderly Nutrition Program will continue to provide Emergency Boxes through partnerships with NEI3A and the YMCA. To locate your nearest NEI3A office, please call: 877-538-0508. For more information on YMCA’s Emergency Box distribution, call 319-233-3531.
Agencies (non-profits, organizations, community meal sites, etc.) receiving deliveries will be required to order their food through the on-line ordering system. If you’re looking for food assistance through their partner agencies, contact them directly to get their most up-to-date hours of operations and procedures. For a list of partner agencies, or to find a pantry near you visit this link
On-site Agency Shopping center will be closed to walk-in agencies until further notice. All pick up orders can be made by appointment only.

During this time, the Northeast Iowa Food Bank is relying on donations made to its COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which can be found here or you can still take part in their on-line silent auction that ends this Friday, April 10, EmptyBowls.live/signup.

If you're interested in volunteering click here to sign-up.