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The Pantry Decreasing Food Waste and Serving it’s Community in Iowa

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Kids Eat in Color has donated to Urbandale Food Pantry, an organization nominated by Patty, a member of our Kids Eat in Color Community.

“Food is an essential part of our everyday lives that everyone should have access to,” says Patty. For the last 13 years, Patty has worked in nonprofits that focus on access to basic needs. Urbandale Food Pantry in Iowa works with local organizations to provide food assistance with dignity and compassion while working with local stores and community gardens to decrease food waste. Read what Patty has to say about working with this organization. 

For people who have never heard of the Urbandale Food Pantry what should they know?  

We are one of the larger pantries in Central Iowa serving anywhere from 900 – 1200 families a month. We welcome on average 50 new families monthly who have never received services before. We also have a food recovery program that partners with local grocers and box stores. Last year we rescued almost 300,000 pounds of food that otherwise would have gone in the trash.

Who does this organization serve? 

1 out of every 3 individuals we serve is a youth. Over 500 individuals we serve a month are seniors on a fixed income. 80% of the families we serve are working families.

A community with access to food is a more productive, more positive, more secure place.

What moment has been the most impactful for you? 

There are so many moments. A senior who was homebound during the pandemic that was in tears when we delivered food to her because she didn’t know how she was going to get food herself. A kid who was excited to come in and pick out their own food because we are a choice pantry. Or, a gentleman who never thought they would need help at this point in his life but our staff and volunteers were welcoming and never made him feel less than. 

What is something you wished more people knew about this work?

Shifting the narrative on who and why people access a food pantry. So many people are one medical bill, accident, or life happening away from needing services. And that everyone should have access to basic needs.

If you have a garden and would like to donate your extra produce, or if you are need of food assistance in Iowa, visit Urbandale Food Pantry for information. 

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