The World Food Prize Foundation

Collaborative Hunger Initiatives in Iowa

Iowans pride ourselves on knowing our neighbors and helping each other whenever we have a chance. What does it look like when we apply those values to our work alleviating hunger?

Quick Guide to Collaborative Hunger Initiatives in Iowa

County Initiative More Info
Boone Boone Hunger Coalition is working on a directory of food pantries in Boone County and a travelling exhibit on hunger and how to help. They are a subcommittee of the Boone County Homeless Prevention Board.  Link
Buena Vista Buena Vista Hunger Dialogue convened by SALUD!, a multi-cultural health coalition. Link
Crawford Crawford County Hunger Fighters is a network of communities in Crawford County, Iowa working together to provide assistance to needy kids and bulk food distribution to needy families. Link
Dallas Hunger-Free Dallas County is a loose network of health and human services providers that regularly releases a guide to food pantries and meal sites in Dallas County, Iowa. Dallas County Public Health coordinates this effort. Link
Johnson Johnson County Hunger Taskforce is a coalition of local governments and nonprofit service providers dedicated to alleviating hunger through research, collaboration and targeted action. Link
Madison Madison County Cares is a network of health and human services providers that holds monthly information-sharing and networking meetings. Link
Polk Partnership for a Hunger Free Polk County is a public-private collaboration to ensure all residents have access to needed food. The Partnership is led by the Polk County Board of Supervisors. Link
Scott Quad Cities Food Rescue Partnership is a community-focused coalition committed to rescuing food throughout the Quad Cities that would otherwise be thrown away, by informing and engaging the public and by fostering partnerships among food establishments, the Foodbank, food pantries, meal sites, and shelters.  Link
Story Story County Food Pantry Collaboration engages representatives from area food to educate staff and volunteers, coordinate efforts, and share best practices. United Way of Story County provides a forum for these quarterly conversations. Link
Story Story County Hunger Collaboration addresses the root causes of hunger to improve access to healthy food in Story County. United Way of Story County provides a forum for these conversations. Link
Wapello Growing Wapello Together is a collaborative initiative focused on increasing access to fresh and healthy food and reducing food insecurity in Wapello County. Link


Please email Madeline at if there are collaborations we’re missing and we’ll add them to the quick guide.


Types of Collaborative Hunger Initiatives

At first glance, there seem to be two stable configurations when organizations rally together to address hunger: Hunger Networks and Hunger Coalitions.

Type of Initiative Primary Function Common Outputs Typical Inputs
Hunger Network

1. Know who is addressing hunger in a community

2. Know how to contact them

3. Have a general idea of what everyone is doing

  • Directories
  • Educational materials
  • Collaborating on one or two easy activities or events
  • Meetings: full group typically meets  monthly or quarterly
  • Personnel: one to three individuals who serve as conveners that schedule meetings and send minutes and updates out to the group
Hunger Coalition

1. Agree on common goals

2. Pool resources

3. Align activities

  • Strategy documents
  • Methods of sharing data
  • Ways to easure success
  • Collaboration on two or three difficult activities at a time
  • Meetings: full group meets monthly or quarterly
  • Subcommittees meet more frequently to share information and move projects forward
  • Personnel: one or two individuals who serve as organizers that convene meetings, delegate responsibilities and track progress, and handle communications and funds
  • Anchor Organization: funds the organizer's work and provides office space and materials


Does the classification make sense? Are there other stable ways to structure a collaborative hunger initiative? Email Madeline at with your feedback!

Search the Iowa Hunger Directory to find organizations near you!

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