Raise your hand to help! 

In the heat of the summer, when pantry shelves are running low, central Iowa businesses and faith-based groups will join together to provide meals to food-insecure kids and families in Polk, Dallas and Warren counties.

With your help, we can collect protein to help kids power through summer.

Have questions about the
Pack a Protein Picnic food drive? 

Contact Us

July 7 to 21, 2016

Sign Up Your Organization

Help celebrate United Way of Central Iowa's 100th year by feeding kids in in our community. 

If you decide to collect food on-site at your company or organization, we’ll provide communication materials and
boxes, if needed. You just deliver the food to the United Way of Central Iowa on July 21 between 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

(Organizations in Dallas and Warren counties will be sent a different 
delivery location.)

Point of contact for your organization:

Our Goal: 65,000 items

That’s one protein serving for each of the 65,000 food-insecure central Iowans who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Depending on your location, your food donations will go to the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) pantries or partner agencies in Dallas and Warren counties.

Why summer?

When school cafeterias are closed, kids lose a regular source of meals.

Families who rely on free and reduced-price lunch suddenly have much higher grocery bills.

Pantries, shelters and food kitchens face a summer shortage as donations drop off after the holidays into the spring and summer.

With more families coming in for food assistance, pantries need to replenish their shelves.

What to donate?

Look for these high-protein, shelf-stable items:

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned tuna or salmon
  • Canned chicken
  • Canned beans
  • Dried beans
  • Sardines
  • Canned meat (SPAM)
Although protein is our preference, we’ll accept any quality nonperishable items that you can give.

Resources for Your Food Drive

  • A personal story about a family that uses a food pantry
  • A list of food pantries in DMARC's network
  • A list of food pantries in Dallas county
  • The delivery form to fill out and bring with your donations on July 21
  • The Pack a Protein Picnic logo