UPDATE ON THE FOOD PANTRY
Things are coming together for us to open a food pantry. We have developed a relationship with The Food Bank of Iowa to start purchasing food from them as soon as June. This will allow us to purchase food for 0 - 14 cents per pound. This will require travel to Des Moines on a monthly basis with an appropriately sized vehicle or trailer. There is a required orientation to the Food Bank on Thursday, May 21 in Des Moines. We need 2-4 people to attend- if you’re available, let us know, and we'll put together a carpool.
We officially have a room- the storage room on the northeast corner of the GNCC building. We will need a day to clean things out and put in shelves (which we have upstairs). So we'd like to do that with everyone who's available on Wednesday, May 13 starting at 5:30pm. We'll have an easy-to-eat dinner and get to work with getting things cleaned out and organized.
A few days later we will have a "soft launch" on Saturday, May 16 from 9-11am. This will give us the opportunity to get our feet wet in what it looks like to have a pantry and sort out what we need to learn and change.
The goal is to then have the food pantry open on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays starting June 6. The Food Bank of Iowa requires all partners to be open at least twice a month. Though not our original plan, we believe we can easily achieve this if we all pitch in.
As explained below, we'd like 3 distinct teams to 1) gather food, 2) organize the pantry, and 3) be present during the distribution days. We'd like each team to have 2 champions, and for there to be enough folks on each team so no one is bearing too much of a load. Please sign up for a team now to get us up and running. In the future we can rotate teams as needed.
Food Pantry Prepare Day (everyone available)
Wednesday, May 13, 5:30 - 8:00pm
Food Bank of Iowa Orientation (anyone who can)
Thursday, May 21, 9am - 1pm in Des Moines
Food Pantry Soft Launch (distribution team)
Saturday, May 16, 9 - 11am
This team will focus on ordering and getting food. This will involve some travel and flexibility of schedule. Travel could be to Des Moines, Jackson, or Storm Lake. Food might also be available locally (community garden, local grocery stores, etc). Food would need to be dropped off at the pantry at church.
Members So Far: Tom Wassenaar, Josh Espelund, Anthony Parrott, Eric Thompson, Carl Amundson, Tim VanScapen
This team will be responsible for the organization of the pantry itself. Arranging food on shelves. Setting up the flow of the pantry. Making sure things are ready to go before open hours. Creating labels for shelves, ensuring closest expiration date is in front. This team will serve prior to and after each pantry distribution day.
Members So Far: Rachel Wassenaar, Jenni & Ryan Cunningham, Tarra Vander Leest, Steven Vander Leest, Rebekah Achenbach, Emily Thompson, Jodi Reinke*, Rachel Popken
This team will be operating during the open pantry hours. They will open and close the pantry, welcome and assist clients, acquire intake forms, and help clients load cars.
Members So Far: Emily Parrott, Missy Graves, Tina Vander Hoef, Julie Petty, Jenessa Amundson, Annie Downing, Emma Booger*