In Mission Together Update from the Pictured Rocks District

In Mission Together Update from the Pictured Rocks District

May 09, 2022

Palo UMC

The food pantry in the Palo United Methodist Church was set up by Mike and Laura Wood the fall of 2020 with assistance from HACAP.  When Mike died unexpectedly in the spring of 2021, volunteers from the church took over the managing of the food pantry. HACAP was instrumental in assisting us to continue the food pantry. We met with HACAP staff to learn how to order food items from HACAP, how to pick up ordered items and the various regulations associated with running a food pantry.

While our pantry does receive private donations and support from the Palo United Methodist Church, the majority of our food items come from HACAP.  Each week I log onto the HACAP site and am able to select items from their inventory to stock our pantry. When I go to HACAP to pick up my order, I am able to also select additional items that were not on their inventory list, such as bakery items or fresh vegetables. Through HACAP our pantry has been able to offer not only canned goods but also a variety of meat including ground beef, chicken, pork and fish. We also have been able to offer milk, butter and eggs. The items available through HACAP will vary week to week, so we will have new items each week.

With the assistance of the Palo United Methodist Church, we have been able to expand our offerings to include personal hygiene products and cleaning products.

With the assistance from HACAP, Palo businesses and the West Linn Group, The Mike Wood Memorial Food Pantry was able to for the first time offer free Thanksgiving dinner boxes, Christmas dinner boxes and Easter dinner bags to the neighbors that visit the pantry.

The pantry has grown from serving a few from Palo each week to 12 or more. The neighbors visiting the pantry are coming from not just Palo, but also surrounding communities.

We have five couples that alternate staffing the pantry each week. 

Submitted by David and Linda Olsen

West Union UMC

We started this magnificent facility in October 2019. We are open every Tuesday. We serve our families in the afternoons, 1 -5 pm. In the mornings we prepack canned goods and shelf stable dry foods to give in the afternoon. We also have a "Produce & Pastry" Room that one family member can go through and pick up whatever they can use, ranging from personal hygiene products, diapers, fruit, vegies, juices, cereal, breads, pastries & more. Families can come every week and make use of the Produce & Pastries room. We also have assorted meat options each week for our families, which they can have once a month. A single family will leave with nearly 100 lbs of food for the month, larger families will get nearly double that amount. We purchase our food through the NE Iowa Food Bank in Waterloo and they deliver it each week we order. For each $1 donated to our pantry we can purchase approximately $11 worth of food. We also rescue left over foods from three local mobile pantries, and four area Kwik Stars. Luther College in Decorah donates frozen meals that they have packaged for us from left over cafeteria foods. Our mission is, 1) No one should go hungry 2) Keep food out of our landfills. Everyone is a volunteer 100%.

Submitted by Patty Potratz

Rockford First UMC

Food pantry that is open for two hours on every third Saturday of the month. Twelve volunteers take turns being available to work at that time or appointment, if necessary.

St. Timothys - Cedar Falls

Has a food closet that is open one day a month and involves the whole congregation.

Tipton First UMC 

Hosts a HACAP Food Distribution Truck with ten members serving.