Community Basket Food Pantry-Ida County
“We’re not quite like most of the food pantries you visit,” chuckled Kris Gunderson, director of the Community Basket, a mobile food pantry that serves 7 communities in Ida County. “In fact, we’re probably very different! We move around, but we bring the fun and several volunteers with us everywhere we go. It’s really pretty great!”
Kris couldn’t have been more right when she said the Community Basket isn’t like most pantries we visit. Today was certainly the first time our Haul Out Hunger crew has unloaded loins into a pickup truck on a country highway and local farmstead, but sometimes that’s what it takes to ensure we’re doing everything we can to eliminate food insecurity in rural communities!
“We’re considered to be the model of all mobiles, at least in this area,” explained Kris. “We have a mobile truck loaded with food that visits Holstein, Galva, Ida Grove, Battle Creek, Arthur, Kiron and Odebolt. When we show up our crew unloads the food onto tables and transforms the space into a food pantry. It’s amazing!”
Currently, the Community Basket mobile food pantry serves more than 80 people per month and relies on 30-40 volunteers to keep things running smoothly. And as if their hands weren’t already full enough, the Community Basket recently took on an actual pantry which is located in Ida Grove.
“It’s new for us, but I think it’s important to have a consistent place for the pantry,” explained Kris. “The mobile pantry allows us to hit several different communities, but sometimes families can’t make it, so we’re giving them another opportunity to come to us. Right now we serve about 40 families per month and I expect that number to increase as we continue to grow.”
And it’s not just the Community Basket that isn’t like most pantries we visit. Kris was definitely something special as well!
“When I retired, I prayed that God would give me something to do and quite honestly, the next day the pastor knocked on my door,” recalled Kris. “He asked me then if I could take on the mobile food pantry and here I am five years later.”
We’re not quite sure a simple 'thank you' is enough to express how much we appreciated Kris and her enthusiasm, passion and genuine desire to end food insecurity in Ida County. And of course we have to thank her husband Steve for helping us unload 600 pounds of pork for the Community Basket. We’re proud of the work we’re doing in Ida County and together with the Community Basket and volunteers like Kris and Steve, we’re confident that we will end food insecurity in Iowa! #HaulOutHunger #BillionPlus