The World Food Prize Foundation

Managing a School Food Pantry

A student’s nutritional health is vital for strong growth and development, especially in their teenage years. When a student has an empty stomach it distracts them from being able to fully focus on their education and can lead to behavioral issues. Providing a school pantry program for students who struggle with hunger gives them access to a safe and secure environment for them to receive the nutrition they need.

A school pantry program provides students a place for them to feed themselves, as well as bring food home to their families. The familiarity the kids have with their school allows these students to gain the nutrition they need at a completely free price. School faculty can identify food insecure families, and give them access to a convenient supply of food to ensure that both parents and their children grow healthily.

According to Feeding America, “having convenient, consistent access to healthy foods helps ensure that children never have to worry about their next meal, which in turn makes for happier, healthier kids.”

Organizational Contacts:

Northeast Iowa Food Bank  |

Counties Served: Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Floyd, Grundy, Howard, Mitchell, Poweshiek, Tama, Winneshiek

To participate:
Barb Prather

Executive Director

Food Bank of Siouxland  |

Counties Served: Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, Lyon, Monona, Plymouth, Sioux, Woodbury

The Food Bank of Siouxland’s mobile school pantry program allows a safe, supportive way to help students and their families through a crisis. The Food Bank of Siouxland provides the product and structure for the mobile school pantry program, stocking it with nutritious foods similar to traditional pantry distribution.

To participate:
Jacob Wanderscheid
Assistant Executive Director

For more information:
Visit, and click on “Mobile School Pantry: Food for Families” under the “Partners & Programs” tab.

River Bend Foodbank  |

Counties Served: Clinton, Dubuque, Jackson, Muscatine, Scott

River Bend Foodbank’s school pantry program coordinates with their local schools, providing students a safe place within a local school to obtain the food items they need. The school’s administration identifies families who are food insecure or needy with the hope of offsetting food insecurity for children at a critical time period in their growth.

To participate:
Diane Erickson

Programs Director
563-345-3490 ext 203

St. Stephen’s Food Bank  |

Counties Served: Dubuque, Jackson

To participate:
Diane Erickson

Programs Director
563-345-3490 ext 203

For more information:
Visit, click on “Programs” under the “What We Do” tab, then go to “School Pantry Program”

Food Bank for the Heartland  |

Counties Served: Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Shelby

To participate: 
Michelle Sause
Assistant Director of Network Relations

HACAP Food Reservoir  |

Counties Served: Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Washington  

To participate:
Angie Albright or Hailey Carr or

Food Bank of Iowa  |

Food Bank of Iowa’s School Pantry Program provides a convenient supply of food in a location that is comfortable for students and their families. It is operated by school staff who can help anticipate a student’s nutritional needs. All food provided is completely free. To become a school pantry partner, reach out to the regional partnership coordinator for your county.

To participate:
Contact your county’s Regional Partnership Coordinator

Region One:

Counties Served: Osceola, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, O’Brien, Clay, Palo Alto, Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Sac, Calhoun, Webster

Contact: Sonja LeSher | 515-867-2887 |

Region Two:

Counties Served: Winnebago, Worth, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, Wright, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Boone, Story

Contact: Tami Nielsen | 515-867-2889|

Region Three:

Counties Served: Carroll, Greene, Audubon, Guthrie, Dallas, Adair, Madison, Adams, Union, Clarke, Lucas, Taylor, Ringold, Decatur

Contact: Abbi Neighbour | 515-867-2891 |

Region Four:

Counties Served: Marshall, Polk, Jasper, Warren, Marion

Contact: Lexi Prigge | 515-867-2884 |

Region Five:

Counties Served: Mahasha, Keokuk, Monroe, Wapello, Jefferson, Henry, Wayne, Appanoose, Davis, Van Buren, Lee, Des Moines, Louisa

Contact: Christina Smith | 641-682-3403 |

For more information:
Visit, click on “Menu”, and go to “School Pantry Program” under the “Partners and Programs” tab

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