To the Editor
People are asking what’s going on at the Food Pantry. Lots of good things, due to lots of good community support! For the holiday season, we opted to repeat last year’s Christmas bags since it was budget-friendly and still provided extra food as well as special surprises for our clients. Unfortunately, we discovered that the Food Bank of Iowa, which provided much of last year‘s bounty at a much-reduced cost, was suffering from “ Bare Shelves”. And, that’s where you, the community, has stepped in to fill that void. Holy Trinity’s National Honor Society organized a drive for personal items/toiletries and so far have donated 77 pounds. [pictured is Maille Sheerin, Ali Robu, and Maria Rauenbuehler sorting the NHS’ donation at the Food Pantry.]. . Equally applause-worthy are special initiatives by Fareway and HyVee, and food drives from Siemens, Scott’s, Josh Denning, Inc., Holy Trinity Early Childhood Development, churches, and the Iowa Fertilizer Company. I know, too, there are other groups and businesses that have joined those efforts at this time of goodwill.
The Food Pantry was told by the Food Bank of Iowa that their situation will most likely continue until Spring. And, that’s where the Reversed Advent Calendar comes into play. [picture]. Holy Trinity High School, St Mary’s in West Point, and the Fort Madison Hospital are both adopting the “reverse Advent calendar”. [picture of reverse Advent calendar] This option will provide the Pantry and its clients with much-needed food after the holidays at a time when supplies are low at the Food Bank of Iowa.
Each month on average the Food Pantry provides food for the tables of 350 families; this translates to approximately 1100 individuals, 40% of which are children. And, we continue to reach an increasing percentage of those who need our help. This last month we served 391 (1230 individuals) of Fort Madison’s citizens. The stories of these individual regarding what brings them to our doors could be anyone’s story. Providing food, nutrition, and comfort at this holiday season and into the new year helps not only the food-insecure, but each one of us in Fort Madison. Here’s wishing everyone of us, and that does mean each and every one of us, a very merry holiday!
Director Fort Madison Food Pantry