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Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin in 1831, recognized the many needs of people who were economically poor in early nineteenth century Ireland and determined she and women like her could make a difference. These founding beliefs guide Mercy College as we educate students and instill our core values of knowledge, reverence, integrity, compassion and excellence.

With these core values in mind, Mercy College has created Catherine's Cabinet, a food bank providing supplemental support to students who are facing food insecurity and need assistance. Although supplemental support does not supply all the food needed, the goal is to provide food and other items to help students with their basic needs.

We have nonperishable items such as soups, pasta or rice, cereal and other items available for your selection. Additionally, toiletry items such as toilet paper, paper towels, diapers and more maybe provided.

Gift cards in small denominations to various locations across Des Moines may be available for those needing assistance with gas, or items the cabinet does not stock.

If students need additional food, we can help by referring them to other food programs in the Des Moines area.  Catherine’s Cabinet is a welcoming and supportive student community - we are here to serve.

Take what you need, leave what you can...

Who Is Eligible?

Mercy College students who struggle with food insecurity or need a small gift are eligible to participate.

Want to Donate?

Our most needed food items include:

  • Pasta
  • Pasta sauce
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned chicken
  • Canned fruit  
  • Protein bars
  • Granola bars
  • Rice
  • Flavored noodles/Flavored Rice packets
  • Beans (Dry or Canned)
  • Ramen noodles
  • Cheese/cracker combo packs
  • Snack cups (pudding, fruit, applesauce, etc.)
  • Microwave meals (pasta cups, beef stew, mac & cheese cups, pop-top soup or pastas)
  • Meat sticks/beef jerky (individual servings)
  • Peanut butter
  • On-the-go drink mixes (individual packets)
  • Infant formula

Other helpful items include:

  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Disposable silverware, plates and napkins
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo and Conditioner