Mobile food pantry returns to Stanhope

STANHOPE?- The Food Bank of Iowa announced that it will once again bring their mobile pantry program to Stanhope on Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. The Mobile Pantry will be held in Stanhope at the Stanhope Community Center, 600 Main Street, on the corner of Highway 17 and Main St. Families are asked to bring boxes, bags, or sacks to take their food home.

It was originally thought that the Mobile Pantries would end in December, but the Food Bank of Iowa acquired funding to continue with at least this one additional mobile food pantry in Stanhope. It is uncertain as to whether future mobile pantries will be available in Hamilton County. The pantries offer an added strategy toward bridging the food assistance gap for rural counties in the Food Bank of Iowa’s 55 county service area. The mobile pantry program has provided an additional access point for those in need to obtain food. These mobile pantries are a way to face hunger in rural Iowa and providing families with an opportunity to receive food that might otherwise be hard to access.

A mobile pantry is a “farmer’s market” style distribution. The Food Bank of Iowa will deliver a truckload with a variety of grocery products to the mobile pantry site to distribute to clients in need. The local mobile pantry partner and their volunteers are responsible for unloading, setting up and distributing the food, as well as keeping track of the number of individuals and households being served.

A representative will also be available to families who wish to receive information about the Iowa Food Stamp program and/or wish to sign up.

Once again volunteers are needed to help with the Stanhope Mobile Pantry. Many local volunteers and 4-H youth and their leaders have helped with previous mobile pantries. Site leaders are hoping that those who wish to serve the community will take this opportunity to reach out.

“We hope that Hamilton County families will take advantage of this additional free food pantry opportunity,” said Suzie Moore, mobile pantry site coordinator. “And we hope that volunteers will come forward as they have in the past to help with just a few hours of their time that impacts a lot of local residents in a powerful way.”

Potential volunteers should call Moore at 826-3557 to volunteer. Volunteers are asked to arrive at 9 a.m. to help unload the food from the Food Bank truck and set it up in the community center. They are needed until Noon to hand out food and help clean up. If volunteers can’t work the entire three hours, any time they can give is appreciated.

Food distributed during this pantry will include a wide variety of non-perishable foods as well as fresh and frozen foods.

Weather is always a factor in Iowa at this time of year. In case of cancellation due to bad weather, notification will be on Radio Station KQWC.