Pantry Happenings

Review of the Past Year

In 2015, 299,000 lbs of food and toiletries and 11,000 items of clothing were distributed. The average amount of food received per visit was 34 pounsa. Also, special distributions of toiletries, coats, and socks & underwear occurred during the year.

Ilsa DeWald was hired to coordinate the Growing Together Garden, which had its first growing season in 2015, and a variety of vegetables were grown and distributed. A Pantry Farmer’s Market, which had produce donated by local gardeners, was available, and classes were given showing how to use some of the items.

Steven Williams was hired to be the Special Projects and Marketing Coordinator. The AmeriCorps Program which had provided 2 people to work in the Pantry ended September 30, and in order to continue the many activities with which Brandy and Becca had assisted, the board decided to hire someone to take over those responsibilities, as well as providing information to Pantry families and the community.

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

This event was Sunday, January 17, and Red’s Alehouse catered a delicious meal. The Pantry has 140 volunteers, who logged 10,000 hours – the equivalent of 5 full-time employees. It would be impossible to do the many activities and services the Pantry offers without these dedicated people. Many of them were honored for their hours of service. For the first time, there was a volunteer who has accumulated 3000 hours.

Honored Volunteers

50 Hours: Kristen Allen, Nick Bergus, Carlyne Burge, Cindy Bys and Girl Scout Troop 1258, Kim Engler, JeanAnn James, Andy Knoedel, Cindy Malott, Linda Milder, Linda Miller, Rae Mosier, Sue Nelson, Jill Noel, Trissa
Pearson, Nancy Readman, Jeff Sorenson, Dotty Staniewska, and Joanne Tigges
100 Hours: Kristen Allen, Carlyne Burge, Don Cantrell, Clay Farebrother, Jennifer Gersten, Margaret Hennes,
Jean Ann James, Linda Miller, Sue Nelson, Jacquelyn Nielson, Sean Pearl and Jeff Sorenson
500 Hours: Barb Dixon, Jim Jedlicka, Paul Kaczinski, Drew Shaffer and Marlene White
1000 Hours: Paul McRoberts
2000 Hours: Judy McRoberts
3000 Hours: Judy Bonnet
Founders Award: Judy Bonnet and Greg Dils
Youth Award: Liz Walters

Current needs are canned meat (besides tuna), peanut butter and soup. The winter months can be difficult, and these items are important ones for feeding a family. Also, toilet paper is always needed.

The Pantry is an exciting, vital place, and volunteers are an essential part of the ministry. Volunteers are still needed, and there are places for everyone, individuals and families.

How do you serve? We are coming up on the holy season of Lent, a time of prayer and reflection, of growing closer to God, of committing our lives to become more like Christ. You can become the hands and feet of Christ by serving those members of our community who are struggling. If you aren’t able to work in the Pantry itself, upcoming projects such as the Golf Tournament on May 6th and Summer Lunch & Fun program are already being planned and in need of volunteers. The Garden, Thanksgiving in July and the Turkey Trot will be in planning stages soon.

For more information,
check our website , Facebook page (www.facebook.com/NorthLibertyCommunityPantry), or contact Tina at (319)626-2711 or at nlpantry@gmail.com.

Pantry Happenings

Donations Galore!

The Pantry received some amazing donations at the end of November and in December. In November, the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort delivered over 1,300 lbs. of food, and it was exciting to see so much variety.

The Colony Pumpkin Patch donated a portion of this season’s proceeds – another wonderful community effort.

In December, we were delighted to receive $5,500 from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois to help provide coats, socks and underwear for our October distribution. This donation was obviously a big help, as we gave out items to 250 children and adults.

The Hawkeye Chapter of 100+ Men Who Care chose the Pantry to receive their 4th quarter donation of $20,000. This was another incredibly generous gift from individuals in our community.

An anonymous donor decided to donate to the Pantry instead of going to the Rose Bowl. This person donated 1930 lbs. of food and toiletries, and many of the items were things we often aren’t able to stock.

The Alliant Energy Foundation donated $1,000 to help us provide more healthy food for the families we serve.

“In Community” is a fundraiser where local businesses raise money from the end of November until Christmas Eve to donate to their local food pantries. Each business decides how they will accomplish this, often donating a portion of designated sales. From Italian food to popcorn, Hawk- eye, local school or running gear to portraits, exercise to eye exams, mailing to printing to advertising, North Liberty businesses are participating in raising funds for our Pantry. It’s a terrific community effort spearheaded by Lucy Hershberger at Forever Green Greenhouse and Garden Center.

It has been quite a year for the Pantry. Ilsa DeWald was hired to be the Coordinator for the Growing Together Garden, a teaching patio was built, and the garden and trees were planted. The Turkey Trot was run, and Lunch and Fun was one of our summer activities. Steven Williams was hired as our Special Projects and Marketing Coordinator. The kitchen was renovated and completed, which will provide good storage and work space and the ability to conduct more classes.

The donations and grants we receive allow us to provide so many services and be involved in many activities and events.

Volunteers are essential to the services offered by the Pantry. No matter what your skills and available time, there is a place for you at the Pantry. There are one-time projects and continuing opportunities for helping our neighbors who are struggling. The next New Volunteer Orientation is Monday, Jan. 25, from 6:00-8:00 pm. Put your faith into action and become a Pantry volunteer.

Check our website, Facebook, or contact Tina at (319)626-2711 or at nlpantry@gmail.com for more information about the Pantry.

photo: Freedigitalphotos.net

Pantry Happenings

Donations and Fundraisers!!!
Lowe’s is contributing materials and labor for the Pantry’s kitchen. This includes many cabinets, countertops, shelving, a dishwasher, painting and some renovation. When the Pantry building was constructed, the estimated cost to finish the kitchen space was just under $10,000, so the decision was to postpone completing that part of the building. The Pantry has a sink, but the new kitchen will enable more efficient preparation of donations, as well as good storage and the ability to do more classes.

West Bank organized a community Thanksgiving Lunch at South Slope on Wednesday, November 18, with food provided by Red’s Ale House. The $1500 raised from the $10 ticket price was donated to the Pantry. Approximately 150 people heard speakers Gary Dolphin (the Voice of the Hawkeyes), John Lohman from Corridor Business Journal, North Liberty City Administrator Ryan Heiar and West Bank president Jim Conrad.

Other corporate contributors in November were Target, which donated toiletries; Theisen’s donated money for educational activities at the Pantry; and Sandwich Brothers, which gave a large donation of Egg White & Turkey Sausage sandwiches.
North Corridor Rotary and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois donated some of the coats that were distributed during our October coat distribution.

InCommunity is a fundraiser where local businesses join together to raise money for local food pantries. Each participating business chooses what kind of fundraiser best suits their business. Last year 25 businesses participated and raised over $12,500 for local food pantries. The fundraiser runs from November 27 until December 24.

Coming Up – Toys and Food
The Salvation Army Toys for Tots will be hosting a toy distribution in North Liberty this year. Interested families can register at the Pantry the week of November 30 from 10:00 until noon. Toys will be available to be picked up on Wednesday, December 16, and Thursday, December 17.

From Monday, December 14, through Friday, December 18, the Crisis Center of Johnson County will provide food for a holiday meal to those in need. Project Holiday will have a distribution at the Pantry on Wednesday, December 16, from 10:00 am until noon.

The Pantry is an exciting, vital ministry, and volunteers are essential to the services the Pantry offers. There are one-time projects and continuing opportunities to help serve our neighbors who are struggling. During this Christmas season, you can put your faith into action by volunteering with the Pantry. The next New Volunteer Orientation is Monday, January 25, from 6:00-8:00 pm. Come join us.

Pantry Happenings

A New Employee at the Pantry

Brandy and Becca have been working for the Pantry through an AmeriCorps program, which ended September 30. Their assistance allowed the Pantry to provide services such as toiletry distributions, extra socks & underwear, educational opportunities for Pantry families and volunteers, and participation in the Summer Lunch & Fun Program. In order to continue providing these services and others,

Special Projects and Marketing Coordinator, Steven Williams was hired and began October 24. Steven will oversee special projects such as the coat distribution, toiletry distributions, socks & underwear distributions, Summer Lunch & Fun activities for the Pantry’s part, and more. He will also be responsible for providing information to Pantry families, as well as information we want to relay to the community.

Coat Distribution

The annual coat, mittens, and hat distribution was held Saturday, October 24. Approximately 250 children and adults received warm items for cold weather. Volunteers assisted families in finding the clothing that fit them and fit their needs.

The Volunteer Appreciation Dinner is Sunday, January 17, 2016. This annual event recognizes the Pantry’s amazing volunteers, both youth and adult. Volunteers are recognized by the numbers of hours they volunteer and their outstanding efforts given to the Pantry and thus to their community.

The Pantry is a busy place and an exciting ministry where volunteers are vital to the continuing services the Pantry offers.

General News

The Pantry is open Monday—Thursday and Saturday mornings from 10:00 until noon and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:00—6:00.

There are many opportunities to volunteer during those hours or outside of those hours, depending on your time schedule. You can be the hands and feet of Jesus to help meet the needs of those in our community who are struggling.

For more information about the Pantry, visit our website at www.northlibertycommunitypantry.org,

facebook at www.facebook.com/NorthLibertyCommunityPantry, or

contact Tina at (319)626-2711 or at nlpantry@gmail.com.

Special Projects and Marketing Coordinator Job Opportunity

   The Pantry will be hiring a new staff person to help cover time lost since our AmeriCorps program is ending. The Special Projects and Marketing Coordinator reports directly to the Executive Director. This is a full-time position. They are responsible for the effective implementation and maintenance of Pantry programs including seasonal distributions, education, and periodic special projects.

This role is responsible for assisting with the smooth functioning of Pantry operations, including communication and marketing with donors, families, and other organizations. The Special Projects & Marketing Coordinator will provide access to the Pantry for donors and volunteer groups outside of distribution hours.

Successful candidates will have experience using a personal computer with intermediate skill level of word processing, data management and communication; compassion for those in need, positive attitude, and ability to maintain confidentiality; experience with non-profit social services organization and working with volunteers; demonstrated ability to prioritize tasks.

Application deadline is September 16, 2015.  Applicants should submit a Cover Letter, Résumé, and application to the Pantry at: director@northlibertycommunitypantry.org or mail to: 89 N Jones Blvd., North Liberty, IA 52317. Applications can be found on the Pantry webpage: www.northlibertycommunitypantry.org/about2/employment

Pantry Happenings

Growing Together Garden – Salsa!
The garden is producing, and on Saturday morning, August 8, from 10:00 to noon, a salsa class was held. This was a food class, not a dance class, athough
a person might want to dance while learning to make salsa.
Donate Produce
If your family, friends and neighbors are locking their house and car doors when they see you
coming with bags of zucchini, consider donating your excess amounts to the Pantry. We’ll be
glad to see you coming!
Turkey Trot
Over 150 people participated this year in what was described as “runners’ weather.” It was reported that some 7-year-olds ran 1 mile in 10 minutes, so those of a variety of ages showed what they could do and helped the Pantry in the process.
Summer Lunch and Fun Program
The program ends August 14, and volunteers are still needed. Volunteers to do activities with the kids are especially needed.
Colony Pumpkin Patch
The Pumpkin Patch offers pick-your-own pumpkins and a corn maze with a theme. This year’s corn maze will feature the Pantry. The maze has been cut to include a child’s face next to an ear of corn, an apple, a carton of milk and a canned food item, with the words “North Liberty Community Pantry” below. Along the way, the maze will contain trivia relating to the Pantry. The Pumpkin Patch will open September 19, and 50 cents of every full-price maze admission will be donated to the Pantry. A Pantry booth will be included at the Fall Festival October 3.

The Pantry is a vital and exciting ministry with many different volunteer opportunities. Helping to feed and clothe those in our community who need some help during difficult times is a wonderful way to put your faith into action. It is a way to be the hands and feet of Jesus, showing God’s love to our neighbors. Join a great group of volunteers – there’s a place for you! Check our website, facebook page, or contact Tina at (319)626-2711 or at nlpantry@gmail.com for more information about the Pantry.

Undy Sunday

We will be collecting new socks and underwear for the Food Pantry’s annual back-to-school clothing distribution until the end of August. Also needed will be coats, hats, scarves and mittens. So, as you do your back to school shopping, buy an extra package of kids socks or underwear and put them in the box in the Narthex at the church. Only new socks and underwear will be accepted. Coats, hats, scarves and mittens can be gently used. Contact the church office at 319-626-2762 with any questions.

Custodian

 The Pantry needs a Custodian.

The Custodian is a part-time position working 3-4 hours per week.

The Custodian reports directly to the Pantry Director.

The Pantry webpage has a full position description and application: northlibertycommunitypantry.org/about-2/employment/

Pantry Happenings

Save the Date!

The Third Annual Thanksgiving in July Turkey Trot Run and Walk will be Saturday, July 11, at 8:00 am, and North Liberty’s Blues & BBQ family event of music, food, games and fun will begin at noon. The 1-Mile Family Run/Walk, 5K-Run and 10-K Run will begin and end at Centennial Park, home of Blues and BBQ. Advance registration for this Pantry fundraiser is $25, and after June 28 registration will be $35. Online registration is available at
http://www.getmeregistered.com/NorthLibertyTurkeyTrot.

Thanksgiving in July

This summer food drive begins July 1. Financial institutions in North Liberty will be taking donations of food and money during July. Financial donations are counted as $1 equaling 4 pounds of food. The institution that collects the largest donation will receive the Traveling Turkey Trophy. Competition has been fierce. Hills Bank had a 3-year reign, but was upset in 2013, and the University of Iowa Community Credit Union has held the trophy for the past 2 years. Help your favorite financial institution to win the coveted trophy by making a donation.

Growing Together Garden

Seed bombs. Pollinator Party. Container Gardens. If you aren’t familiar with these terms, you haven’t been attending activities at the garden. It has been a busy place, and now produce is growing and harvesting has begun. Open volunteer opportunities are available from 3:30—6:00 pm on the following Mondays: July 13 and 27 and August 10 and 24. Sign up via email: volunteer@northlibertycommunitypantry.org. In addition to the ground-level beds, there is a raised bed that is handicapped accessible.

Summer Lunch and Fun Program

One of the Pantry’s activities was a container garden class. Between this class and the classes at the Pantry, over 100 container gardens have been made by the participants. During the program’s first week, 329 meals were served to kids. This program is not restricted to kids in need, but is for all children in the community to have lunch and enjoy an activity. Volunteers are still needed for activities, so if you are available sign up to help.

Donations:

Vegetable starts for the Pantry garden and the container gardens were donated. Kroul Farms gave starts and Wild Woods Farm donated their extra vegetables. The old North Dodge Hy-Vee store donated fresh produce when moving to the new store. We have had some great support from the community this summer.

Volunteering at the Pantry provides a wonderful opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus as you serve those in need in our community. Put your faith into action and join a great group of volunteers. The next New Volunteer Orientation will be Tuesday, July 28, from 6:00—8:00 pm.

Check our website (http://www.northlibertycommunitypantry.org), Facebook page
(www.facebook.com/NorthLibertyCommunityPantry), or contact Tina at (319)626-2711 or at nlpantry@gmail.com for more information about the Pantry.

Turkey Trot

The North Liberty Community Pantry will host the 3rd Annual Thanksgiving in July in conjunction with a community wide food drive on Saturday, July 11 starting at 8:00am. Races include 10k/5k /Family 1 Mile Events. Time chips are available. Races will begin and end at Centennial Park, 1565 St. Andrews Drive in North Liberty.

Registration before June 28th is $25/adult and includes a Performance-Moisture Wick t-shirt.

Registration between June 29th-July 11th is $35/adult and includes a t-shirt while supplies last. (so NOT Guaranteed after June 29th.)

Registration for children (10 & Under – no shirt) is $15.

Register to race, to volunteer during the race and/or to make donations to the food pantry at  http://northlibertycommunitypantry.org/special-focus/turkey-trot/

Registration using a paper application is available here.

Sponsorships are available. More information available here.

All funds raised from the Turkey Trot and food drive will benefit the North Liberty Community Pantry and many local families.  We are neighbors stepping out to help Neighbors.

The mission of the North Liberty Community Pantry is to engage our community in feeding and clothing our neighbors.  For additional information, questions or volunteer opportunities, please contact the pantry’s executive director, Tina DuBois, at 319-626-2711 or email tina.dubois@northlibertycommunitypantry.com.

Pantry Happenings

Save the Date!

The Third Annual Thanksgiving in July Turkey Trot Run and Walk will be Saturday, July 11, at 8:00 am. A new route is being planned for a 1-Mile Family Run/ Walk, 5K-Run and 10-K Run. This event is a fund-raiser for the Pantry, is well attended and a lot of fun. Mark your calendar.

Golf Tournament

The 5th Annual 4-Person Best-Shot Golf Tournament, presented by Scheels, was May 15 at Brown Deer Golf Club in Coralville. It was a beautiful day and 24 teams turned out for a great day of golf.

Growing Together Garden

The garden is growing! Trees and vegetables have been planted – potatoes, rhubarb, asparagus, brassica and lettuce are in the ground. If you don’t know what ‘brassica’ is, you should come to one of our classes and find out. The first container gardening classes were held May 21, and a butterflies and bees class will be Saturday, June 13, from 1:00-3:00 pm. Open volunteer days have started, and groups from Verizon and U.S. Cellular have taken advantage of volunteer opportunities.
Summer Lunch & Fun

The dates for this program are coming up quickly: June 8 to August 14, Monday through Friday. Volunteers are asked to commit to 10:45 am—1:30 pm. The meal is from 11:30 am—12:15 pm, and the activity time is 12:00—1:00 pm. The Pantry will provide lunch and activities for children on Tuesdays. To help serve, go to http://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a044baaae2ea75-summer1. To help the Pantry with food preparation, sign up at brandy.smith@northlibertycommunitypantry.org.

Summer is a great time to add some volunteer hours to your schedule. How do you put your faith into actions? At the Pantry, you have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus by helping those in need in our community. No matter what your schedule is or what your interests or gifts are, there is a place for you at the Pantry. Check our website at http://www.northlibertycommunitypantry.org, or Facebook at www.facebook.com/NorthLibertyCommunityPantry), or contact Tina at 319-626-2711 or at nlpantry@gmail.com for more information about the Pantry.