Around the holidays, there are a lot of organizations hosting food drives, collecting canned and non-perishable foods to send to food banks and pantries across the state. That's a worthy effort, and those donations are appreciated by food banks. But food banks want people to also consider that they have more purchasing power for a dollar than you do.
During this segment of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Michelle Book, who is CEO of the Food Bank of Iowa. Book says her organization distributes one million pounds of food a month to more than 75,000 Iowans.
"It makes people feel good to drop a can in a box, but I want people to feel just as good about making a financial contribution," she says. "For example, when you go to the grocery store, if you pick up four cans of green beans, that's about $5. If you contribute $5, we can convert that $5 into 20 meals. We buy things in semi truck trailer volume, so we can get things much more cheaply than a consumer at the store."
Book says during the holiday season, food banks are also in need of volunteers to sort, package, and deliver food.
"We value one hour of volunteer time at $20, so volunteering your time is also a very worthwhile donation," she says.