Feed the Need

Help us keep families close through this COVID-19 outbreak

Feed the Need

Check back here for the latest updates on COVID-19 and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Our plans are fluid as new information and recommendations arise. We will do our best to communicate changes in a timely manner.

Our most critical need at this point in time is financial assistance because of reduced volunteers and increased expense. Please consider donating today, or better yet, become a sustaining donor by committing to recurring donations.

March 18, 2020

In collaboration with RMHC Global and our hospital partners, the decision has been made to temporarily suspend service at all 3 of our sites. This decision was not made hastily and it was very hard but necessary for the health and well being of our staff, volunteers, and the families we serve as well as to ensure we work effectively within the guidelines of our health agencies and hospitals.

We are working with our hospital partners to make sure the transition for the few families that remain at the Ronald McDonald House is smooth and their needs are met. We are also working with the hospitals to distribute food to the families that remain with their children at the hospital.

We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our partners, supporters, and families who have helped to make this transition. We are proud to be a part of such a compassionate, supportive, and knowledgeable community.

We urge our supporters to please continue to contribute to RMHC-EIWI as our bills continue and our expenses to reopen will be significant. We remain faithful to our mission and are committed to be ready to reopen as soon is it is deemed safe to do so.

March 16, 2020

Thank you for your cooperation during this uncertain time. Here is the latest update after working with our global RMHC to make informed decisions to protect the health and safety of all our guests. The following guidelines are in addition to/or in place of those outlined previously.

  • Effective 5pm tomorrow, March 17th, 2020 we will only allow 2 registered adults per room at the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City until further notice. Those two registered adults will be able to stay at the house, visit the patient, and supervise any other children staying here at this time.
  • All common areas are closed off except the laundry room and the kitchen.
  • As guests discharge, we will not be filling any open rooms at this time.
  • The Ronald McDonald Family Room at UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s Hospital will be closed until the hospital deems it appropriate to reopen.

As always, we thank everyone for their patience as we navigate these uncharted waters.

March 13, 2020

To ensure we are proactive in protecting our fragile patients, staff, and volunteers, we have implemented the following additional measures.

In addition to, or in place of, the policies outlined in the March 12 communication:

  • We will only have essential staff in the house to try to keep everyone safe and reduce the spread of germs
  • We have limited volunteers to include only our regular shift volunteers to assist in cleaning and sanitizing
  • We are suspending outside meal groups at all 3 locations.
  • No unregistered guests are allowed to visit the facilities
  • We are accepting donations at the front door.

While our meal programs are suspended, our families still need to eat. We encourage groups that were planning or thinking of preparing a meal to consider catering an evening meal for our families. More information is available at 319-356-3939.


March 12, 2020

The health and well-being of the families we serve, our staff, and our volunteers is of paramount importance to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois (RMHC-EIWI). As an organization that serves families with children that have compromised immune systems, we are actively taking steps in the face of COVID-19 and influenza to minimize the risk of spreading the viruses.

We are working closely with our hospital partners and following the direction of Iowa Department of Public Health. This is an everchanging landscape. We have increased the sanitizing protocol at all our locations with regular wipe downs of all surfaces. We are reminding all staff, families, and volunteers of our standard protocol for washing hands regularly and using the sanitation stations positioned around the facilities.

Of more immediate impact to our supporters, we have taken the following temporary steps:

  • All activity groups and House tours are suspended
  • The volunteer meal group program at both of our family rooms is suspended
  • All volunteers and meal groups at the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City must complete a health questionnaire prior to each shift
  • We have placed a receptacle outside of the Ronald McDonald House to collect Pull tabs
  • Donations will be received via drop off at the front door

We are appreciative of all of the support we receive from our community and rely heavily on our supporters for our success. We have had many reach out asking how they can help us at this time. We encourage people to help us “Feed the Need” as our expenses increase during this pandemic and our volunteer support decreases. Financial support is most appreciated to ensure the resources are readily available to address the needs of the families we serve. We also encourage those who wish to donate items to have them shipped directly to the Ronald McDonald House from Amazon, Walmart, etc.

We will continue to monitor the situation and make any necessary adjustments as new information and new recommendations become available. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. 319-356-3939 or [email protected]

Barbara Werning
Executive Director