The Food Bank of Iowa is stocking up for winter with its annual Combat Hunger food drive, which is hosted the Thursday and Friday before Thanksgiving.
Leading up to Combat Hunger, businesses and schools in the Des Moines metro host their own food or fund drives. Then donations are turned over to the Food Bank of Iowa.
"During the holiday season people are a little bit more generous than they are during the other parts of the year," says the Food Bank's Danny Akright. "What we have found is that donations will trickle off in January, and we will have to stretch the food we gathered during this time of the year all the way into the spring."
Akright hopes the 2016 drive surpasses last year's bounty of 330,000 meals. For those purchasing food for the drive, he encourages people to consider what they would purchase for their own pantries.
"There’s stuff that people need as staples, you know beans, and dry pasta and cereal," he explains. "Things like that that are going to be able to be turned into a meal or stretched over multiple days are absolutely great."
Personal care and hygiene items like soap, diapers, toothpaste and deodorant, are also in high demand.
According to the USDA, more than 10 percent of Iowa households are dealing with food insecurity.