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Dubuque Food Recovery Program

This program was organized by Dubuque Food Pantry and Wicked River Event Production. You can find access to the program at the Dubuque Farmers Market, Millwork Night Market and the Winter Farmers Market. 

The Dubuque Food Pantry started collecting excess food from vendors at the end of each market day. They began collections in July 2022 and were able to distribute 2,586 pounds of food to area residents in need of assistance.


Just think of the impact they’ll have from a whole season of market in 2023 and beyond.

Dubuque Food Recovery Program at the Dubuque Farmers Market

The Dubuque Farmers Market has partnered with the Dubuque Food Recovery program to help feed the hungry in Dubuque area by providing thousands of pounds of fresh food to the local Dubuque Food Pantry.  The goods, including fresh produce, baked goods and non-perishables, are distributed at the Dubuque Food Pantry. This program that aims to get more fresh healthy food into the hands of people who need it will expand from serving only Dubuque Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, to include Millwork Night Market and Winter Farmers Market later this fall. The Food Recovery Program was started by Theresa Caldwell of the Dubuque Food Pantry, with support from Wahlert High School student Lilah Takes. This season, Danielle Stowell of Wicked River Event Production will oversee weekly operations.

Each week, volunteers collect unsold produce from market vendors who are willing to donate. The produce is then weighed and distributed to community members who are eligible to receive assistance from the food pantry. Stop by their booth located on the corner of 13th and Iowa every Saturday ( "B" on the map)  to make a donation! 

Funding for the Food Recovery Program was provided by one of the City of Dubuque’s Community Block Development Grants, which Stowell applied for to purchase utility carts, produce crates, informational signage, and other food collection equipment.

Though 72 percent of Iowa’s land is dedicated to agriculture, the state isn’t immune to food security issues. Approximately 1 in 8 Iowans are food insecure, and 1 in 5 Iowa children are food insecure. We can't stress the importance enough, of food education when providing fresh food.

Dubuque Food Pantry doubled its fresh produce storage when they moved in 2022 to be able to receive and donate more perishables. They more recently converted their clean and sort room to a temperature-controlled room so they can receive fresh produce in bulk, and sort for families to pick up.

Other Food Programs Offered at Market ​

The Farm to Food Donation Tax Credit 

Provides a tax credit equaling the lesser of $5,000 or 15% of the value of the food donated during the tax year for which the credit is claimed. The food must go to a registered Farm to Food Donation organization, and farmers must submit with their taxes a Farm to Food Tax Donation Credit Donation Receipt.

Double Up Food Bucks 

Matches the value of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchases at farmers markets and grocery stores. If someone spends $10 at a participating farmers market, they will get $10 DUFB to spend on local food. This program provides access to fresh fruits and vegetables while supporting local farmers and economies.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs provide coupons that can be exchanged for fresh locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs at farmers markets and farm stands.

While several efforts are underway, there is much to be done to educate all parties how to amplify the focus and availability of healthy, local food for everyone in Iowa.  If you have examples of how you’ve addressed the inclusion of local food in food access, please reach out to us!


How You Can Help!

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