CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – As Thanksgiving nears, area food banks are preparing to help people put food on the table.
Table to Table, an Iowa City-based nonprofit, plays a crucial role in addressing food insecurity by distributing essential supplies to over 40 local food banks. The organization has experienced a significant surge in demand, with Nicki Ross, the executive director, reporting a 63% increase in visitors to partner food banks, totaling over 100,000 this year. Ross emphasized the unique challenges faced this year.
“This year is especially challenging because our partners, our food access partners, are struggling to meet the day-to-day need,” Ross said.
The heightened demand is attributed to several factors, including rising food costs and the discontinuation of benefits introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic. In anticipation of the holiday season, Table to Table is gearing up for an increased influx of donations from food rescues, particularly post-Thanksgiving, involving items like unsold turkeys and hams. Ross expressed optimism about the impact of food recovery efforts
“Food recovery is going to play a really big part in meeting the need this season, and we’re happy to be able to plan for that,” Ross said.
For those looking to support Table to Table’s mission, Ross recommends cash donations as the most effective long-term aid. This approach allows the organization to strategically address the evolving needs of the community it serves.