Iowans were devastated by the derecho: Here's how you can help

On Monday, Iowa was hit with what amounts to a Category 2 hurricane, which leveled homes, businesses and left hundreds of thousands without access to food, power or internet. The damage, compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, has stretched Iowans thin.

It took our governor nearly four days to request help from the National Guard. A presidential disaster declaration wasn’t approved until a full week after the storm. Like so many problems in America, our leaders have been slow to respond.

“We need help and we need it now,” said U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer at a city news conference. And she’s right.

The devastation of this storm has been left for Americans to pick up the pieces. Literally cleaning out their own homes, while wondering how to get food, water and a place to sleep.

» DERECHO 2020: See all of The Gazette’s coverage of the storm

If people are in need of assistance, 211 is working and can connect people in need to resources. To reach 211, dial 211 on any phone, text your ZIP code to 899211 or visit

» STORM RESOURCES: • Where to find food, water, free meals | Shelters, volunteering and more storm resources


For people who want to volunteer, you can visit or you can go to the volunteer reception center located at the Emergency Management Agency, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa or call 224-406-1366.

If you want to help Iowans, here are some places to donate:

• Horizons coordinates Meals on Wheels for Linn County and is struggling to get meals to residents. You can donate here.

The city of Coralville’s food pantry. Located in Johnson County, where thousands of residents are still without power, the food pantry is coordinating groceries for people affected by COVID-19 and the storm. You can donate here.

The United Way of East Central Iowa is coordinating disaster aid. You can find a way to volunteer here. Or you can donate to them using this link, here.

The United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties are also coordinating disaster response there. You can donate here.

• The Hawkeye Area Community Action Plan (HACAP), is a nonprofit organization the serves six Iowa counties. They are coordinating food and disaster relief. You can donate to them here.

• Feed Iowa First is a local nonprofit that gives Iowans in need fresh produce. You can donate to them here.

Table 2 Table is a nonprofit that redistributes food to populations in need. You can donate or sign up to volunteer via their site here.


IC Compassion is a faith-based organization that provides services for immigrant populations. They’ve been coordinating COVID-19 relief. You can donate here.

In Cedar Rapids, the Catherine McAuley Center coordinates resources and relief for immigrant populations. You can donate to them here.

Located in Iowa City, the CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank offers emotional, financial and food assistance. They need volunteers for their food bank. You can sign up to volunteer, here. You can also donate to them here.

His Hands, a faith-based, nonprofit that offers free medical services in Cedar Rapids, is in need of volunteers for indoor cleaning (refrigerator from stuff that went bad), painting metal doors from items ripped off in the storm, reinstalling signs and picking up debris. Contact is Kim Junge, or calling 319 200-5078.

The American Red Cross is organizing disaster relief. You can donate to them via their website.

The Salvation Army of the Heartland is organizing disaster relief efforts as well. You can donate here.

The Heritage Area Agency on Aging is coordinating, food distributions, shelf-stable food box/bag deliveries to consumers who cannot get to distributions and funding to their 15 senior dining locations and home-delivered meals services. You can donate to them through their website here.

• The Eastern Iowa Diaper Bank is donating diapers and wipes to families in need during the disaster. You can donate here. Or you can purchase supplies off their Amazon wish list.


Chef Jose Andres World Central Kitchen is in Linn County mobilizing local food trucks to feed people in disaster stricken areas. They were one of the first national relief agencies to respond to Iowa’s call for help. You can donate to them here.

Mercy Chefs is offering free meals to people affected by the disaster. You can donate to them or volunteer with them through their website, here.

Be the Light Iowa is a faith-based nonprofit that is working to deliver aid to areas of Linn County in need. You can volunteer or find ways to donate through their website.

• Kennedy High School's Cougar Corner Food Pantry is accepting donations online. Cash and checks can be dropped off at the school or Lovely Lane Church. Canned and fresh fruits and vegetables, canned and boxed meals, bread, snacks, grocery store gift cards, personal care items and more can be donated from 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Lovely Lane Church.

This list will be updated as more relief efforts are organized. If your organization would like to be on this list, please contact, or call 319-651-8148.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.