The Grinnell Food Coalition and Drake Community Library, in partnership with MICA, will establish a food cupboard at 930 Park Street to help with food access beginning Monday, October 31st. The cupboard acts as a supplement to the MICA food pantry located at 609 Fourth Avenue in Grinnell. The intent is to help people get over a rough patch and get through until the end of the month when their benefits renew or make it to their next paycheck.
The cupboard will be in the entryway of the west doors to the library on Park Street. The doors to the library are open Monday to Thursday from 8 am until 8 pm, Fridays from 8 am until 6 pm, and Saturdays from 9 am until 5 pm. “We hope that the longer hours the library is open will increase the access to food in emergencies until they can get to the MICA Food Pantry.” , says Karen Neal, Library Director and Grinnell Food Coalition board member.
The Grinnell Food Coalition was formed in 2020 to help address food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Outreach and available support continue to evolve. The Grinnell Food Coalition receives support from the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation, Drake Community Library, Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce, Grinnell College, Grinnell Mutual Group, Imagine Grinnell, Local Foods Connection, MICA, Tiger Packs, and our local churches and schools.
The partnership has evolved between the Grinnell Food Coalition and the library. The library has been a distribution point for food vouchers redeemable locally. “We hope a food cupboard at the library will replace the need for food vouchers,” states Jennifer Cogley, Director of Partner Programs for the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation and a Grinnell Food Coalition board member. The Grinnell Food Coalition is a partner program fund of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation.
A Grinnell College student will stock the pantry 3 hours per week according to Ryan Solomon, who facilitates community engagement opportunities for students at Grinnell College and a Grinnell Food Coalition board member. Items included in the pantry will be limited to canned soup, ready-to-eat meals, ramen, fruit cups, and cereal purchased through a local grocery store.
How can you help? Donate food or money directly to MICA to support the food pantry on Fourth Avenue, or make a contribution online to the Grinnell Food Coalition at https://ahrensfamilyfoundation.org/local-resources/, checks may be sent to Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation, 1510 Penrose Street, P.O. Box 284, Grinnell, IA 50112. Donations of clean reusable bags, for use at the library food cupboard, can be dropped off at the library during open hours.