The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) has many programs designed to help you and your family find food. For a list of those programs and to find your local DHS office, go to http://www.dhs.iowa.gov/Consumers/Assistance_Programs/FoodAssistance/index.html or call 1.800.934.3663. Many people who qualify for food assistance don’t take advantage of it because they feel too proud, or don’t want others to know they need help. This is a mistake that could damage their health and the health of their families.
Food Assistance is for anyone who is income and resource eligible. Those who use food assistance include people with no income, part-time or low paying work, and people who are trying to live on child support, alimony, Social Security payments or small pensions. If you qualify for food assistance, use it.
DMARC Mobile Food Pantry
Once per calendar month, you may receive a 3-day supply of food, measured by family size. The food follows a healthy food guideline. Select which food items you want with their choice pantry service model. Daily food items are available to anyone, any time the pantry is open. www.dmarcunited.org/food/mobile
1) There are no income requirements
2) Bring a photo ID for every adult member of your household, and some other form of ID for all children in the household
3) At the mobile food pantry, you will go through a short intake process
Supplemental Food Program
These programs serve low-income residents with a well-rounded supply of foods, including fruits, vegetables, meats, peanut butter, cheese and honey. The program is designed for
1) people who are 60 years of age or older;
2) pregnant women or women who have given birth in the last 12 months; and
3) children under the age of 6, and infants.
If you live in Polk, Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Madison or Warren Ccounty, call the Polk County Commodity Supplemental Food Program at 515.286.3655 to see if you apply.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
The WIC program offers supplemental foods to help meet the nutritional needs of women who are pregnant or breast feeding, and infants and children up to the age of five. Clients must meet income guidelines and they receive vouchers each month for milk, cheese, eggs, cereal, and other staples and formula and juices for infants. Look under Women, Infants and Children (WIC) in your local directory or ask your local Department of Health.
Senior citizens can get nutritious lunch-time meals. The company of other people is also nice. Call your local Area Agency on Aging to find out about the congregate meals near where you live. You can find your local Area Agency on Aging by going to:
These meals are brought to the houses of people who are physically or mentally unable to plan or prepare a nutritious meal for themselves. Call your local hospital, Department of Human Services or Area Agency on Aging to see if these are available in your area.
Is there a special program in your area, such as Proteus, which provides food vouchers and rent assistance for migrant farm workers who are its clients? Does your community have a food pantry? A community kitchen? A discount bakery? A summer breakfast and lunch program? A YWCA or Catholic Worker House that provides emergency food and shelter needs? Look in the phone book or contact the Community Action Agency. You may find out more about community action services here: http://www.iowacommunityaction.org/
The Food Bank of Iowa is a private, non-profit charitable organization whose mission is alleviating hunger through food distribution, partnership, and education. The Food Bank of Iowa solicits, receives, inventories and distributes donated food and grocery products. These products are distributed to partner agencies in 42 Iowa counties who directly serve needy families and individuals through a variety of programs. You can find the nearest Food Bank location here:
Emergency Food Pantries
If you are in dire need of food, and cannot obtain any on your own, a food shelter will be able to help for the time being. To find the nearest food pantry, call 515-277-6969 or visit this website:
Iowa Hunger Directory
The Iowa Hunger Directory is a comprehensive listing of all organizations fighting hunger from Iowa. The organizations listed can direct you to organizations in your community that may be able to help you find a source of food and groceries.