DES MOINES – Food Banks around the Des Moines metro are seeing an increase in need.

“What we’re hearing now from everybody is just how many more people they’re seeing with pandemic aid ending, with SNAP benefits being reduced, and inflation on top of it,” Aubrey Alvarez with Eat Greater Des Moines said. “People’s food budgets are really limited if they have it at all. A lot of our food pantry partners are seeing a 50-75% increase over last year at this time.”

Eat Greater Des Moines focuses on connecting food donors with food banks. A lot of their work consists of food recovery which is taking food items from stores that would be thrown out and getting them to foodbanks before they expire.

One area the organization also works on is connecting community gardens with food banks.

Faith and Grace Community Garden in West Des Moines is one of those community gardens that donates what they harvest to food banks. Last year they donated over 20,000 pounds of fresh organic produce to food banks.

Mark Marshall, the founder of Faith and Grace, wants hungry Iowans to know that they are cared for and wants people to eat healthier.

“I’d like to think we’d show people in need there are people out there that care for them and that they are not forgotten,” Marshall said. “I just think that a lot of Americans don’t eat as well as they should so my goal is one person at a time to make sure they do at least as many months of the year that we can.”

Marshall’s goal this year is to harvest 25,000 pounds of produce to donate to food banks.

If you are in need, you can find out more about local food pantries and other assistance here.