Dennis (in middle) and Susan (pink jacket) Albaugh, their family members and Food Bank of Iowa CEO Michelle Book (blue jacket) with an oversized check that shows the $2 million gift Albaugh LLC gave to the nonprofit group. Photo below: Albaugh listens as Book talks about the donation and how it will help pay for the expansion of the food bank's distribution center. Photos courtesy of Food Bank of Iowa

The Food Bank of Iowa today received a $2 million gift from Ankeny entrepreneur Dennis Albaugh.

The gift, which will be used to pay for a 30,000-square-foot addition to the Food Bank’s distribution center, is the largest donation the nonprofit group has ever received, according to a spokesperson. 

“Our mission at Albaugh and the mission of Food Bank of Iowa are well aligned to help assure that no one should have to go hungry,” said Albaugh during an event announcing the donation. “Even as the unemployment rate remains at relatively low levels, the work of Food Bank of Iowa is as essential as ever to meet the needs of the working poor, persons with disabilities, the elderly, children, veterans and others needing support.”

The addition to the food bank’s distribution center, located at 2220 E. 17th St. in Des Moines, will increase the facility’s size by 50%. In addition, the expansion will allow the group to accept larger donations, purchase food more cost-effectively, and improve safety and efficiency.

The $11 million project includes more than 12,500 square feet of freezer space, 16,000 square feet of dry storage space, additional dock doors, a small office and paving replacement. The expansion, supported by the Building Healthy Futures campaign announced in September, is the food bank’s first since moving to its current facility in 1999.

Albaugh’s gift “is key to building a sustainable solution for addressing food insecurity for decades to come,” Michelle Book, Food Bank of Iowa’s CEO, said during today’s event.

The gift from Ankeny-based Albaugh LLC will be recognized on an exterior mural, to be installed at a future date, near the Food Bank of Iowa’s volunteer center entrance. Albaugh branding also will be added to Food Bank of Iowa trucks, along with other sponsor logos, according to a news release.

Founded in 1979, Albaugh LLC produces and sells post-patent crop protection products globally.

Food Bank of Iowa, in its 40th year, provides food for Iowans in 55 of the state’s 99 counties.