Nonprofit seeks to reduce food insecurity

Nonprofit seeks to reduce food insecurity
1 in 4 Polk County residents are food insecure. Help Bidwell build hope and fight hunger by attending the Empty Bowls event on November 2, 2017

October 19, 2017

There are 99,000 Polk County residents who are food insecure1. Of those people, 72,000 have enough to eat thanks to supportive services such as Bidwell Riverside Center’s food pantry. 

Bidwell Riverside Center works to reduce food insecurity every day. The pantry at Bidwell served more than 15,000 people in 2016. That’s 20% of the Polk County residents who were food insecure but still managed to have enough to eat. Last year, Bidwell distributed approximately 122,000 clothing items, 37,000 diapers, 1,800 baby formula or food, and 26,600 personal items. The need for these services is not subsiding; from 2011 to 2016, the number of individuals served at Bidwell increased by 97%. 

This year, Bidwell will launch a new fundraising effort, the Empty Bowls event, which will shed light on the food insecurity faced by our neighbors, and raise funds to support Bidwell Riverside Center's mission to reduce food insecurity, and increase stability and self-sufficiency in our community. This spin on a traditional fundraiser elicits a soup kitchen style, as all attendees will select a handmade artisan bowl upon entering the event to eat their meal from. Our gracious event sponsors include UnityPoint, Bankers Trust and Casey’s General Stores. 

Join us on Thursday, November 2nd, from 6-8:00 pm at The Temple for the Performing Arts for the first annual Empty Bowls: A Benefit for Bidwell Riverside Center. The $25 entry fee includes a handmade artisan bowl, hors' d oeuvres, soup, bread, dessert and entertainment. For more information, visit

About Bidwell Riverside Center 

Bidwell Riverside Center is committed to a vision of a future where no one lives in poverty and every person has the opportunity for a positive future. Established in 1893 by a group of Methodist women dedicated to helping disadvantaged families, Bidwell has evolved into a secular organization seeking to build hope for a better future by providing support through two primary programs, a distribution center and child development center. 


1. Des Moines University. “Central Iowa Food Insecurity Survey.” OpportUNITY Central Iowa, 2016.