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Northeast Iowa Food Bank moves Empty Bowls fundraiser to a 2-week silent auction; other changes announced

031220 Northeast Iowa Food Bank Web

WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - The Northeast Iowa Food Bank has announced changes to its operations and annual spring fundraiser amid coronavirus concerns.


Their Empty Bowls fundraiser, which typically provides funds that supply up to 120,000 meals, was scheduled to be held Friday, March 27. It's now taking on a new format to keep supporters engaged. It'll be a two-week, online silent auction, beginning Friday, March 27 and ending Friday, April 10. Create an account to take part in the auction by going to


Other changes that clients and agencies should be aware of include:

  • · Cedar Valley Food Pantry will remain open for normal hours. There will be no weekly produce pantry as of March 16th until further notice.
  • · Mobile Food Pantries will continue to operate during their normal schedules. Food will be distributed directly off of our trucks, to accommodate for the anticipated increased need. Visitors are reminded to bring any extra bags/boxes to carry-out the grocery items they receive.
  • · BackPack program and Kid’s Café program operations will continue as normal. The food bank will continue to follow the guidance of participating schools, and as the situation evolves, will continue to provide meals and snacks as determined by each school’s preparedness plan.
  • · Elderly Nutrition services will continue to be delivered, with Emergency Boxes being set up at existing sites during normal operating and delivery times.
  • · Agencies receiving deliveries will be required to order their food through the food bank's online ordering system.
  • · The onsite Agency Shopping center will be closed to walk-in agencies beginning Wednesday, March 18th, and all pick up orders will begin operating by appointment only.


The food bank is seeking volunteers to help pack BackPacks and emergency food boxes.


As always, the food bank needs community donations. And that need is exponentially greater right now.

"As grocery stores and grocery producers/manufacturers struggle to meet the increased need they are seeing on the retails side, we will also soon face an anticipated 90% decrease in rescued or donated food items. All of these events point to one of the largest cost increases that we have ever seen, and now more than ever we will look to donations and fundraisers to assist us in filling that gap," the food bank stated in a news release.

Donations are being matched up to $10,000 from now throughout April.

Make a donation on the food bank's website:

Abby Turpin

Evening Anchor

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