The World Food Prize Foundation

2014 Iowa Hunger Summit

Reaching Rural Iowa Through Innovation: Food Banks and Mobile Food Pantries

Speaker Mr. Cory Berkenes - State Director, Iowa Food Bank Association
Ms. Barb Prather - Executive Director, Northeast Iowa Food Bank
Mr. Matt Unger - Program Manager, Food Bank of Iowa
Schedule Breakout Sessions - Round Two (10/14/2014 2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.)

Reaching Rural Iowa Through Innovation: Food Banks and Mobile Food Pantries

With a vast rural landscape; reaching hungry Iowans is a challenge. A Mobile Food Pantry is a program that enables pantries to extend their services by providing supplemental food service for those in need. This innovative program offered by food banks in Iowa allows for 1) expanded capacity, 2) removal of barriers that prevent access to under-served areas, and 3) reduction of food waste. This workshop will introduce Iowa Food Banks and their role in reducing hunger in the state through innovative programming. Through explanations, stories, and statistics, a panel of Iowa food bank directors will examine the Mobile Food Pantry program and how the success of this program has created opportunity for communities across the state. A discussion and/or Q&A session with participants will be encouraged.

About Mr. Cory Berkenes:

Cory Berkenes has served as the State Director of the Iowa Food Bank Association since January, 2013. He resides in the Des Moines Area with his wife, Crystal, and two daughters, Elsie and Emerson. 

Berkenes’ current position as State Director of the Iowa Food Bank Association allows him to collaborate with the eight Feeding America Food Banks in the state that serve all 99 counties. He directs the state policy and advocacy efforts for the association, oversees the statewide SNAP outreach contract, manages the state food bank disaster preparedness initiative, and establishes strategies for improved food and fund procurement for food banks. Berkenes currently serves on the Leadership Team of the Food Access and Health Work Group of the Iowa Food Systems Council and co-chairs its policy committee, sits on the Advisory Council of the Iowa Food and Family Project, and has co-lead the Iowa Anti-Hunger Coalition.

About Ms. Barb Prather:

Barb Prather has been the Executive Director of the Northeast Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo for 15 years and currently serves as the Iowa Food Bank Association President. In 2013, she successfully completed a $6.5 million capital campaign for a new facility. This will greatly increase the food bank’s capacity to serve more. She’s been in the food banking industry for over 20 years.

About Mr. Matt Unger:

Matt Unger came to the Food Bank of Iowa in 2012 after a dozen years working in elective politics and state government.  From 2007-2011, he served as chief of staff to Lt. Governor Patty Judge, also serving as Senior Advisor to the Governor and Lt. Governor on Homeland Security and Emergency Management issues.  Unger has led the Agency Relations and Programs departments at the Food Bank of Iowa for the last 2 years. 

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