DES MOINES, IOWA (November 10, 2022) — Food Bank of Iowa announced a partnership with Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm and Feeding America® to immediately provide food for Iowans in need and build long-term technology solutions to scale the food bank’s impact.
This announcement is part of a larger initiative from Google.org and Feeding America to help provide fifty million meals to communities across the United States. Food Bank of Iowa serves 55 of Iowa’s 99 counties, reaching Iowans across a 30,000-square-mile footprint that spans the northern to southern border.
“With persistent inflation, increased grocery costs, and continued supply-chain disruptions, family budgets are stretched thin and there is a significant ongoing need for donations to our food banks and food pantries,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “I encourage the support of our food banks and food pantries, and I hope this inspires other businesses, organizations, and individuals to give what they can in order to help our neighbors in need.”
Today, 34 million Americans, including nine million children, face food insecurity. Among Feeding America network food banks, 90% report an increased or sustained need over the last month. Food Bank of Iowa has experienced this firsthand. Demand for food assistance is at an all-time high in Iowa, with the past five months setting records in the number of individuals and households served by Food Bank of Iowa and its 700 partners.
“We are working to meet the highest need in our forty-year history,” said Michelle Book, Food Bank of Iowa President and CEO. “Our frontline partners are seeing double, triple, and even quadruple the number of individuals seeking help with food, and we are grateful for this funding from Google to help combat food insecurity in Iowa.”
Google has seen the need reflected in Google Search Trends on a national and local level in Iowa. Nationally, Google sees a spike in searches for food support every November, but more than ever before, Americans are making searches around “food” and “prices” in 2022. They are also searching “how to give back” more than ever, with searches for “where to donate food near me” skyrocketing 850% over the past five years.
In Iowa, searches for food have increased, including:
- “Food pantry near me” searches in Iowa have increased by 1300% over the past five years;
- Search interest in SNAP reached an all time high in Iowa on January 2021; and
- “Where to donate food near me” searches increased by 180% over the past five years in Iowa.
“Addressing food insecurity requires a sustained and coordinated approach. We’re proud to partner with Feeding America to deliver over fifty million meals to people in need, and to work with them to strengthen their technology infrastructure,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “We’re also making our products, like Search and Maps, more helpful to people searching for resources or ways to give back.”
Any organization or individual interested in joining the fight for a hunger-free Iowa can volunteer, donate, and learn more at foodbankiowa.org. While donated food is always appreciated, monetary donations go even farther to provide meals for Iowa children, families, seniors, and veterans. A donation of $10 will provide more than a week’s worth of food for an Iowan in need.
Food Bank of Iowa will also receive donated Search Ads to connect people looking for help with resources, provide avenues for others to give back, and drive food security awareness nationwide.
About Food Bank of Iowa
In its fortieth year, Food Bank of Iowa provides food for Iowa children, families, seniors, and veterans to lead full and active lives, strengthening the communities where they live. Serving 55 of Iowa’s 99 counties, Food Bank of Iowa delivered more than seventeen million pounds of food to its 700 partners last year. Any organization or individual interested in joining the fight for a hunger-free Iowa can volunteer, donate, and find advocacy information at foodbankiowa.org.
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries, and meal programs, we helped provide 6.6 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, brings the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges, combining funding, product donations, and technical expertise to support underserved communities and provide opportunity for everyone. We engage non-profits and social enterprises who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a better world, faster — and we believe in leveraging technology and applying scalable data-driven innovation to move the needle.