Food Bank Contributions

The Crisis Center Food Bank distributes 106,000 pounds of food each month to help alleviate hunger in Johnson County. (Nearly 1.3 million pounds annually!)

Thanks to the generosity of individuals, churches, organizations and businesses, 70% of that amount is donated.

Dropping Your Donations Off

The Crisis Center Food Bank is located at 1121 Gilbert Court in Iowa City. At the far (west) end of our parking lot, enter the brown double doors marked Donations and a volunteer will assist you.

Donations are accepted without appointment Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Tuesdays until 7:00 pm. It's best to avoid dropping off over the noon hour, 12:00 - 1:00 pm. The parking lot is often very full and volunteers may not be readily available for assistance (Monday is our busiest day of the week).  We are not able to pick up donated items at this time.

The Crisis Center can also accept donations evenings and weekends. Please call the 24-Hour Crisis Line at (319) 351-0140 to make arrangements. 

What We Need

Our Top 10 List of needed items is displayed below but food products not on that list are also appreciated. Please check to make sure that canned and boxed items are within their expiration date. Our clients love when fresh produce is available - we happily accept quality garden abundance. 

Top Ten Needed Donations

  1. Financial Donations
  2. Toilet Paper
  3. Peanut Butter and Jelly
  4. Canned Fruit & 100% Fruit Juice
  5. Pastas & Rice
  6. Canned Vegetables
  7. Hearty Soups & Stews
  8. Baby Diapers (all sizes)
  9. Baby Formula & Food
  10. Laundry Detergent

What We Cannot Accept

Due to food standard regulations and policies, the Food Bank is not able to distribute items that have been part of a buffet line or are picnic leftovers, home-canned goods, previously opened or partially consumed packages, alcohol products, or items not prepared in a commercial kitchen (such as breads, salads or casseroles).

We also cannot accept canned goods that have been FROZEN or OVERHEATED, which sometimes happens when donations are left outside, in a garage, or in a vehicle for a long period of time.

Our storage space is limited so we do not accept or distribute clothing or household items (we recommend our partner agencies, the Crowded Closet and Goodwill of the Heartland) or furniture (the Furniture Project). 

Holding a Food Drive

If you are motivated to do more, please visit our Hold a Food Drive page for tips and ideas about hosting a food drive to benefit The Crisis Center. For more information, contact Sarah Benson Witry at (319) 351-0128 or by email at

Which is Better - Food or Money?

To successfully operate the Food Bank program, we need both. The Crisis Center purchases food at low prices from federal programs and local vendors. With good stewardship, The Crisis Center is able to stretch each dollar we receive further than you could at your local grocery store. A $1 donation enables us to purchase four (4) pounds of food on average.

Donated items, on the other hand, provide variety that enables us to better serve the needs of our clients. Our shelves would contain the same kind of cereal, soup, vegetable and fruit each week without the wonderful diversity of items that you and others donate.

We only purchase non-perishable food items, but clients often request fresh food, baby-related items, hygiene products, cleaners and pet food. These items are only available to our clients when you and our community of supporters generously donate them.

Please visit our Financial Contributions page for information about other giving opportunities.