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Bidwell Riverside Center Child Development Center Receives Funding from Great Western Bank

Bidwell Riverside Center recently received Great Western Bank’s Making Life Great Grant for $2,500 to help fund the Child Development Center.
Press Release by Bidwell Riverside Center, October 8th, 2020
“We are very thankful to Great Western Bank for awarding the Bidwell Riverside Child Development Center their Making Life Great Grant. Funding like this is crucial to support our mission of empowering children, regardless of income or background, to be compassionate and able life-long learners by providing quality education and care,” said Executive Director, Tim Shanahan. 
Read the press release.

Bidwell Food Pantry Experiences Record Breaking March Numbers due to COVID-19

Bidwell Riverside Center’s food pantry, a DMARC (Des Moines Area Religious Council) partner pantry, experienced a 31% increase in the number of individuals served in March, totaling 4,329 people.
March is normally a slow month for the Food & Clothing Pantry because many people are receiving their tax refunds and can purchase their food rather than receive it from us. However, many of the clients we have served recently have been let go from their retail and restaurant jobs indefinitely due to all of the closings, have more mouths to feed since their children are home from school, or are just simply worried about where they are going to get their next meal from, especially with all of the shortages happening at grocery stores.
Read more.
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Bidwell Riverside Center raised over $33,500 to help alleviate food insecurity in Central Iowa

Bidwell Riverside Center raised over $33,500 to help alleviate food insecurity in Central Iowa
Press Release by Bidwell Riverside Center, November 13, 2019

On November 7th, Bidwell Riverside Center held its 3rd annual Empty Bowls fundraiser to shed light on the food insecurity faced by our neighbors and raised over $33,500 to support Bidwell’s mission to increase stability and self-sufficiency in our Central Iowa community. Each attendee at Empty Bowls selected a hand-made artisan bowl to take home to remind them to fill the bowls of others as often as they can.

Read the press release.

Food Pantry Expansion

Polk County Board of Supervisors Funds Food Pantry Expansion
Press Release by Bidwell Riverside Center, April 3, 2019
Thanks to funding from the Polk County Community Development Grant from the Polk County Board of Supervisors, a 720 square foot expansion has been completed, creating new semi-private offices for client intake and freeing up space for significantly more seating in the waiting area. Architectural services were donated by Simonson & Associates Architects, LLC, and Venter Spooner contributed service fees as well.
Read the press release.

600 Thanksgiving Turkeys

Bidwell Riverside Helping Families with Thanksgiving Meal
By Kelly Maricle, Who-TV Channel 13 News, November 16, 2017

Bidwell Riverside Center's annual turkey giveaway is made possible by the Polk County Board of Supervisors, which will supply 600 turkeys this year to be distributed Thursday, November 16th through Saturday, November 18th. Christ Lutheran Church donated an additional 44 turkeys and hams, and various other meat donations means Bidwell will distribute nearly 700 Thanksgiving meal packages.
Hams and Turkeys from Christ Lutheran Ch

Pancake Breakfast 2018

We raised more than $5,000 at our 2018 Pancake Breakfast, thanks to our generous supporters and volunteers! The breakfast, held Saturday, March 10th, was hosted by Grace United Methodist Church, and attended by many long-time supporters and volunteers.
See more pictures here.

Variety - the Children’s Charity Grant for the Child Development Center's New Flooring

Bidwell Riverside Center has received a $15,000 grant from Variety - the Children’s Charity to fund the installation of much-needed new flooring in the Bidwell Riverside Child Development Center
Press Release by Bidwell Riverside Center, September 21st, 2020
The grant from Variety – the Children’s Charity will be used to replace the damaged flooring on the main level of the building. The current flooring has many cracks and chips in the tiles and has created a safety hazard for children and staff. The new flooring will be much more durable and will allow the children to be able to run and play without worrying about tripping on the damaged tiles.
Read the press release.

Largest Serving Food Pantry In Iowa Experiences Record Breaking November Numbers

Bidwell Riverside Center’s food pantry experienced a 13% increase in the number of individuals served in November, totaling 5,891 people. Throughout the month, Bidwell also provided either a Thanksgiving turkey or ham to 1,707 households, a 60% increase from last year.

Since 1893, Bidwell Riverside Center has existed to help struggling families meet their basic needs so they can become self-sufficient and ultimately, break the cycle of poverty. Bidwell’s choice pantry system allows families to shop the shelves of the pantry, which helps to maintain dignity and ensure higher satisfaction with the food families receive. The pantry is a one-stop-shop for essential needs: diapers, baby food, clothing, toiletries, and household goods. All of this, as well as food, is available for free to anyone who walks through the doors. Last year, Bidwell distributed approximately 133,000 clothing items, 40,000 diapers, 4,000 units of baby formula or food, and 33,000 toiletry items. Access to food, toiletries, diapers, baby food, formula, clothing, and household items is vital to those living in poverty, and the need is not subsiding.

Read the press release.
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Variety- the Children’s Charity STEM Grant

Bidwell Riverside Center receives $10,214 grant from
Variety- the Children’s Charity
Press Release by Bidwell Riverside Center, September 26, 2019
This grant allows the children to benefit from improved play spaces, additional STEM engagement opportunities, and more gross motor function activities. The therapists (occupational, speech, physical, etc…) who work with the children at Bidwell will now have more tools at their disposal for tactile learning in the new multi-purpose room, providing the children with more diverse options for learning.
Read the press release.

New Truck for Food Pantry

Partnership for a Hunger-Free Polk County Provides New Truck for Bidwell 
Press Release by Bidwell Riverside Center, October 23, 2017
Nonprofits often find themselves without the best tools to do their work, but south-side food pantry and early childhood development center Bidwell Riverside Center was recently gifted an impactful new tool by the Partnership for a Hunger-Free Polk County: a brand-new truck.
Read the press release.

$30,000 Raised for Bidwell

The inaugural Empty Bowls: A Benefit for Bidwell Riverside Center on November 2, 2017 was a success! The Partnership for a Hunger-Free Polk County matched more than $12,000 raised at the event to help raise more than $30,000 to support Bidwell’s efforts to reduce food insecurity and increase stability and self-sufficiency in our community.
See more here.
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Pantry Wait Time from DSM Hack

We were selected as a nonprofit participant for the DSM Hack, a nonprofit event that brings together local nonprofits and tech gurus to find solutions to technological barriers. A group of developers primarily from Workiva, sponsors of the event, took interest in our desire to have an app for the pantry wait time, and enthusiastically tackled the problem.
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Bidwell Riverside Food Pantry Expands Facility Due To Increased Food Insecurity. By Maria Lisignoli. April 10, 2019. WHO-TV Channel 13 News.
Bidwell Riverside Food Pantry on the south side of Des Moines says 99,000 Polk County residents are food insecure. With more than 4,000 individuals using the pantry every month, space was getting a little cramped, so they decided to add a 720 square foot expansion...
Nonprofit Seeks to Reduce Food Insecurity in Polk County  Press Release by Bidwell Riverside Center. September 5, 2017. 
There are 99,000 Polk County residents who are food insecure. Of those people, 72,000 have enough to eat thanks to supportive services such as Bidwell Riverside Center’s food pantry.
Holiday Helpers Keep Shelves Stocked For Those In Need.  By Jannay Towne.  December 21, 2016.  WHO-TV Channel 13 News.  
Iowa’s largest homeless shelter and one of the state’s busiest food pantries are asking folks to add a few things to their Christmas shopping lists.  “Right now is our busiest time of year..."
Food Pantries See Rise In Need.  By Amanda Krenz.  December 20, 2016.  We Are Iowa WOI-TV Channel 5 News. 
Local 5 went to the Bidwell Riverside Center on the south side of Des Moines.  People lined up in the cold so they could get necessities as soon as the doors opened. The woman who runs the pantry says donations have been steady but the number of people needing help has climbed...
Estimated 1 in 8 Iowans Considered ‘Food Insecure’.  By Rheya Spigner.  November 17, 2016.  KCCI Channel 8 News. 
“Food insecurity is a big problem in Iowa,” Akright said. “About one in eight Iowans are considered food insecure, which just means they don't have all the nutritious food (they need) to lead a healthy and active life." ...

Thanksgiving Preparations Kick Off With Turkey Distribution.  By Roger Riley.  November 16, 2016.  WHO-TV Channel 13 News.

Thanksgiving is almost a week away, so it was turkey giveaway day at the Bidwell Riverside Center in Des Moines Wednesday.  A long line went out around the building from people waiting for almost 300 frozen turkeys to be given away. The food was paid for by the Polk County Board of Supervisors...

Local Non-Profits Want Your Kids’ Used Toys.  By Josh Nguyen.  January 7, 2016.  WHO-TV Channel 13 News.  
If you're looking to get rid of some of the toys your kids don't play with any longer Channel 13's Josh Nguyen lets you know which local non-profits would be thrilled to help those toys find a new home...
Civic Skinny Merry Christmas (12 Days of Christmas).  December 23, 2015.  Cityview.  
Twelve drummers drumming… for Sara Boese at Polk County and Sarai Rice at the Des Moines Area Religious Council, who want to feed the hungry…and John Mauro and the Board of Supervisors, who will get that done…and shame on those who look the other way…and for the volunteers at Bidwell and everyone else who works at the food pantries…and, especially, for all those who depend on the pantries to feed their families...
Want to volunteer during the holidays?  November 10, 2015.  The Des Moines Register.  
For the past 12 years, United Way of Central Iowa has compiled Holiday Helping Hands, a listing of volunteer opportunities for central Iowans to help their neighbors during the holiday months...
Calling all candidates: What's your plan on hunger?  By Mike Kilen.  October 13, 2015.  The Des Moines Register
A new effort to make hunger and poverty issues a priority in the presidential campaign was launched Tuesday at the Iowa Hunger Summit in Des Moines... 
Hungry Iowans flock to pantries for help.  By Mike Kilen.  October 13, 2015.  The Des Moines Register.
A visit to a Des Moines food pantry can be an eye-opener. By 10 a.m. folks wait to get into the Bidwell Riverside Center’s food pantry on Des Moines' south side...
Volunteer Brings More than Effort to Des Moines Food Pantry.  By Josh Nguyen.  February 18, 2015.  WHO-TV Channel 13 News.
The Des Moines metro has seen a stark increase in the amount of people who use food pantries. Of those, the hardest hit pantry was Bidwell Riverside Center. They have had a 27 percent  jump in clients over the last year.  The only way they can keep pace is with the help of volunteers...
Help Needed to Make Christmas Special for Teens.  By Megan Reuther.  December 10, 2014.  WHO-TV Channel 13 News.
Christmas can be a stressful time of year, especially for families struggling with day-to-day expenses. One organization has been helping hundreds of families celebrate the season for 60 years. Now, the group needs extra assistance...
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