Iowafooddrive.com, a new virtual food drive developed through a partnership of AARP Foundation Drive to End Hunger, the Iowa Food Bank Association and Spindustry Digital, is off to a strong start, according to Iowa Food Bank Association Board Chair Barb Prather.
“It’s exciting to see so many people taking advantage of this new technology to donate to help their fellow Iowans,” said Prather. After less than a week in operation, the site has raised more than $1,000 from Iowans purchasing food using the convenience of their computer or mobile devices. All contributions are tax-deductible and benefit the eight local food banks served by the Iowa Food Bank Association.
The new site, the first virtual food drive in Iowa, gives users the opportunity to shop online to “purchase” a bulk food item or a food bundle. Once the user pays for the cost of the product, the Iowa Food Bank Association purchases those items according to greatest needs of the local food bank.
In addition to user convenience, the virtual food drive also allows the Association to use its bulk purchasing power to make donated funds go farther than an individual could on their own.
“We’re excited that this collaboration between the Iowa Food Bank Association and AARP in Iowa provides an easy means for thousands of our members to address food insecurity among young and old in counties across Iowa,” said AARP Iowa State Director Kent Sovern. “We are also pleased that all of the local chapters of the Iowa Retired School Personnel Association are joining in this effort and have made hunger relief a priority for 2013.”
The number of food insecure Iowans is estimated at more than 400,000, and growing. Food insecure is defined as those who are not sure where their next meal is coming from.
“Four-hundred-thousand people in Iowa who are unsure about their next meal are too many people,” said Michael Bird, president and co-founder of Spindustry Digital. “Spindustry Digital proudly supports the efforts of the Iowa Food Bank Association and AARP Drive to End Hunger program. Bird said a virtual food drive is the natural evolution of charitable giving with the technology and social media tools available today.