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Emergency Food Box Fights Food Insecurity in Marshall County

Updated: Sep 28

We recently received a thank you note for our church’s contribution to the Emergency Food Box [EFB] in Marshalltown. They included information about their services that we’d like to share:


The EFB is an all-volunteer ministry seeking to serve as a channel for God’s love in our community by providing temporary help in a spirit of compassion and dignity to people in need of basic food supplies, responding to Matthew 25:35 “for when I was hungry, you gave me food."

Location & Hours: The EFB, located at 107 N. 1st St. (the old Iowa River Brewing Company building) is open Monday through Thursday from 1:30 – 4:30PM and Friday from 10:30AM – 1:30PM.

Who can use it? Guidelines have been established for residents of Marshall County to receive food on a short-term basis. The EFB does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, or political beliefs.

Where does the food come from? Donations come from churches, individuals, clubs, organizations, businesses, schools, and local food drives in Marshall County. During this past year over 24,225 pounds of food were donated from the community. Donated funds help to purchase groceries locally and from the Food Bank of Iowa. Twice a month, food items we can use are ordered from the Food Bank of Iowa in Des Moines for $0.14 per pound handling charge.

Who decides what food people get? A menu committee seeks to provide a balanced diet, providing a four-day food supply packed according to family size plus a voucher for milk, margarine, bananas, and eggs.

What are the reasons people need food? Out of resources due to illness, change in income, unemployment, a traumatic event occurs in the family, a disaster event occurs in the community, unforeseen expense, etc.

Who works at the Food Box? Dedicated volunteers from the community staff the EFB each weekday afternoon and/or serve in a variety of functions.

Are there many hungry families in Marshall County? During 2021 there were 1,928 families served, serving a total of 6,149 persons. There were 183 families served for the very first time. In addition, 80 requests for Christmas boxes were given out.

How can I help? Donate money or food. Donations can be brought to the Emergency Food Box at 107 N. 1st St. M-Th, 1:30 – 4:30 PM. Mail monetary donations to Emergency Food Box, P.O. Box 391, Marshalltown, IA 50158. Make checks payable to Emergency Food Box. We are a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization – ID #42-1373841.


More Information on How to Help

  1. Make a financial donation to the Emergency Food Box to help with the purchase of food items

  2. Donate food items to the Food Box (see list below)

  3. Organize a drive for food items

  4. Contribute to the Emergency Food Box Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation of Marshall County. Dollars donated to this endowment are pooled and invested along with a large sum at the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines. Donations to this endowment are eligible for a 25% tax credit on your state taxes plus the normal federal deduction for charitable giving. To learn more, please contact the Community Foundation at (641-)758-3028 or email cfmarshallco@gmail.com


Food items needed (no expired items, please)

14.5 oz. cans tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, potatoes, corn, green beans, peas, carrots,

mixed vegetables, beans

Lg./sm. cans peaches, pears, mixed fruit, applesauce, pineapple

10.75 oz. cans soups, chicken noodle, tomato, vegetable, creamed soups (chicken,

mushroom, etc.)

Large cans meaty soups

Lg./sm. cans chicken, tuna fish, other canned meats or stews

Packaged macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, beans, rice, instant potatoes, macaroni &

cheese, helper dinners

Lg./sm. jars peanut butter

Lg. can or bottle fruit juice

All sizes dry cereal


For more information about donating or volunteering, please contact the Food Box at (641)753-2801. They also have a Facebook page