River Bend Foodbank, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, collects wholesome donations of food from the food industry for distribution to more than 300 charitable community organizations that support the hungry. Located in Davenport, Iowa, River Bend Foodbank has 60,000 square feet of warehouse space. River Bend's facilities include a 3,600 square foot freezer/cooler unit with almost 4,000 cubic feet of frozen and cold storage. This allows the foodbank to handle donations of grocery product that member charities are unable to handle on their own.
The foodbank’s service area includes the Quad Cities and 22 counties in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. River Bend Foodbank is the most cost-effective distributor of donated food in the community. The food that member agencies receive is free, with a shared maintenance fee included on most items to help defray the cost of transporting, soliciting, collecting, sorting, inspecting and distributing the food that serve families in need.
For every $1 donated, River Bend can distribute $10 worth of food. Partner agency programs save millions of dollars each year by using the food distribution program. River Bend also provides direct service to hungry kids through "Kids Cafe's," which serve thousands of meals annually. In the fall of 2007, the Foodbank implemented the Backpack program, which has grown to serve 1,300 needy children on a weekly basis.
River Bend Foodbank was established in 1982. Because of the farm implement crisis, tens of thousands of high paying jobs were lost in the Quad City area, and the demand was extremely high for assistance from food pantries and other relief organizations. A group of concerned citizens hoping to find a way to meet the increased demand for food to stock the pantries invited Second Harvest, the national foodbank network to conduct a workshop detailing the foodbank concept.
The decision was made to start a foodbank in the Quad Cities and become part of the Second Harvest network. In the first year, 190,000 pounds of food was collected, stored and distributed to food pantries and other non-profit agencies with feeding programs.