1. How did Meals from the Heartland begin?

Meals from the Heartland (MftH) originated from a month-long packaging event during Lent in 2007 in West Des Moines, Iowa, where more than 1 million meals were packaged. After this positive experience, a few volunteers asked the golden question of each other, “What if…we gathered thousands and were able to feed millions?”

In 2008, that small group encouraged more than 12,000 Iowans to come to Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines where they packaged more than 4 million meals. The numbers continued to climb every year, and the world is a better place because of the commitment of our caring volunteers!

2. Is Meals from the Heartland affiliated with a religious organization?

MftH is not affiliated with any one religious organization, but it is a faith-related organization. We work to bring diverse communities — such as businesses, organizations, schools, churches, individuals and families — together in an effort to provide food to the hungry around the world. Click here to read our Core Values.

3. Is Meals from the Heartland a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization? How can I verify?

Yes. We have received the designation from the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions received by MftH are tax deductible. Our TIN/EIN is 26-3443290.

4. What is in the Meals from the Heartland food package? How can it feed 6 people?

Our Hearty Pack meals contain rice, soy protein, dried vegetables, vitamins and minerals. The meals were formulated by a nutritionist to be accepted by many cultures around the world and by those who are malnourished. When cooked in boiling water, the rice expands, the soy adds protein and the dried vegetables and vitamin powder provide additional micro-nutrients that are needed. In addition, we package Taco Mac (taco flavored macaroni & cheese) meals that are distributed here in the United States. Each meal package includes 6 servings.

5. How is it determined where the food packaged at Meals from the Heartland goes? Does any of the food stay in Iowa?

As a nonprofit organization, we are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who approve the distribution of food based upon recommendations from a committee and partnerships with distribution organizations. Factors considered in making this decision include the number of meals available, the need/request received and the ability of partner organizations to ensure that food can be safely transported and distributed to people in need, as intended.

Locally, we partner with food banks and pantries that are taking action to feed the hungry in Iowa, providing nourishment and support to individuals and families in need. These organizations include the Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) food pantry network as well as dozens of church-affiliated food pantries. In 2020 alone, more than 1,674,000 meals were distributed across the state of Iowa.

Our food reaches people in Iowa, the United States and around the entire world. Requests from Iowa food banks always take priority.

6. How much of my donation to Meals from the Heartland goes to the cause of feeding hungry people vs. administrative expenses?

Ninety cents of every dollar goes toward our meal packaging process. We have been blessed to have volunteer support and partners of in-kind services that help limit overhead expenses. Your donation is always fighting hunger.

7. Can I designate my United Way gift to Meals from the Heartland?

Yes. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that meets the criteria of United Way to receive designated contributions.

8. What other in-kind donations would Meals from the Heartland consider or be interested in from my business? 

We seek and receive in-kind support through marketing, promotion, printing, packaging materials, warehouse equipment, transportation and much more. For more information, please contact us.

9. How do I learn more about Meals from the Heartland? 

To learn more about Meals from the Heartland, please contact us.

10. How do I donate to Meals from the Heartland?

Donating to MftH is easy! You may donate online or send a check to the following address. If you would like to consider a legacy gift, please click here for more information.

Meals from the Heartland
357 Lincoln St.
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265

Help keep bellies full and smiles on faces.