The World Food Prize Foundation

Supporting your Local Backpack Program

Students need access to nutritious food to help them succeed. It has been proven that children dealing with hunger or food insecurity are more likely to develop behavioral issues, or have trouble focusing on the subject at hand. To help address this issue schools can support their local food bank by volunteering to help assemble sacks for their backpack programs.

What is a Backpack Program:

Backpack programs provide students with nutritious food and snacks every Friday that they can take home, sustaining them over the weekend. All meals sent home with these students are assembled by volunteers through local food banks. All food provided by the program is free for children to take home. Backpack programs can have a positive impact on a student’s life, both by giving them the nutrients they need to grow and providing them a safe place to get the food.

How to Get Involved:

Below is a list of the local food banks in Iowa that cover all 99 counties. Schools can determine their local food bank by identifying their county below. Each food bank offers unique opportunities to involve your students. Please follow the directions accordingly.

Northeast Iowa Food Bank  |

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

For more information:
Susan Kraus
Director of Network Relations

To participate:
Visit, click on "Backpack Program" under the "What We Do" tab. Scroll down to find more information under "Volunteer".

Food Bank of Siouxland  |

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

For more information:
Debbie Hubbard

Program and Administrative Coordinator

To participate:
Visit and click on “BackPack Program: Food for Kids” under “Programs and Partners” tab, and then go to “Volunteer Guidelines” to access the form needed to complete prior to volunteering.

HACAP Food Reservior  |

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

For more information:
Hailey Carr
Operation Backpack or

To participate:
All volunteers can sign up at where they can specify their skills and availability.

Food Bank for the Heartland  |

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

For more information:
Sarah Comer
Assistant Director of Network Education and Compliance

To participate:
Visit and click on “Backpack Program” under the “Get Food” tab.

River Bend FoodBank  |

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

For more information:
Diane Erickson
​​​​​​Programs Director
563-345-3490 ext 203 

To participate:
Please visit, click on “What We Do”, then go to “Backpack Program” under the “Programs” tab.


St. Stephen's FoodBank  |

Counties served: Dubuque, Jackson

For more information:
Kathy Hutton
Executive Director

To participate:
Visit, click on “Backpack Program” under the “Programs” tab.

Food Bank of Iowa  |

Contacts for counties served:

Region One:
Sonja Lesher
| 515-867-2887 |
Osceola, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, O’Brien, Clay, Palo Alto, Buena Vista, Pocahontas, Humboldt, Sac, Calhoun, Webster

Region Two:
Tami Nielsen | 515-867-2889 |
Winnebago, Worth, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, Wright, Franklin, Hamilton, Hardin, Boone, Story

Region Three:
Abbi Neighbour | 515-867-2891 |
Carroll, Greene, Audubon, Guthrie, Dallas, Adair, Madison, Adams, Union, Clarke, Lucas, Taylor, Ringgold, Decatur

Region Four:
Lexi Prigge | 515-867-2884|
Marshall, Polk, Jasper, Warren, Marion

Region Five:
Allison Koresh | 641-682-3403 |
Mahasha, Keokuk, Monroe, Wapello, Jefferson, Henry, Wayne, Appanoose, Davis, Van Buren, Lee, Des Moines, Louisa

To participate:
All volunteers can sign up at where they can specify their skills and availability.



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