River Bend Food Bank receives $300,000 grant donations from city of Moline to continue battle against hunger

River Bend Food Bank receives $300,000 grant donations from city of Moline to continue battle against hunger.
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 11:01 AM CDT
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - The fight against hunger continues in Moline as the city’s Community and Economic Development Department is gifting the River Bend Food Bank a $300,000 grant donation, said city of Moline officials.

The River Bend Food Bank serves 23 counties in western Illinois and eastern Iowa and plans to use the money to increase the amount of food they are able to provide from its pantry as well as help to supplement other area partner agencies. Around $200,000 will be earmarked for the SouthPark pantry because this allows the River Bend Food Bank to distribute additional pounds of nutrient-dense foods including produce, protein, dairy and eggs. This additional funding will also allow them to purchase culturally appropriate items for the city’s Hispanic and Muslim populations.

The food bank is very thankful for this generous donation, said CEO of River Bend Food Bank Nancy Renkes.

“We are so thankful for this transformational donation, especially at a time when we are seeing an increasing number of guests visiting our pantries,” Renkes said. “This donation will help hundreds of families get the nutritious food they need to and will help our partner agencies continue to serve their families in Moline.”

The remaining money is set to be scattered among nine other partner agencies to help cover their food budgets, freeing up funds for pantry infrastructure and other needs. These partner agencies are the Bethany Baptist Church Food Pantry, Bethany for Children & Families Pantry, BGCMV Moline Teen Center, ICNA Relief Food Pantry, River City Church Quad Cities/Moline Foursquare Church, St. Mary’s Food Pantry, Testimonies of Hope-Grace City Church, World Relief and Youth Hope Food Pantry.

Moline Community Development Manager K.J. Whitley reinforced the importance of food assistance in keeping Moline families happy and healthy.

“As our country continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Moline is partnering with River Bend Food Bank to provide food for those in need. Since receiving the Community Development Block Grant Cares Act funding, we have partnered with Hy-Vee and provided five rounds of food vouchers through our Meals for the Holiday program. Food prices have steadily increased since the onset of Covid. Households struggle on where to apply their limited financial resources. We are excited about this partnership,” Whitley said.

In 2022, the River Bend pantry at South Park distributed around 750,000 meals, with 98% of those products donated by retailers and manufacturers, according to a media release from the city. The added funding will allow for the pantry to purchase more fresh food directly.