Gerhard - Webster City Little Free Pantry Captain
“The biggest thing that brightens my day is when I’ll see a kid taking a snack, and it leaves a smile on their face. There are some struggles, but if you can help one or two people have a full belly or a warm pair of gloves, it makes it all worth it,” said Gerhard, a sow farm manager and the Little Free Pantry Captain for the All Cultures Equal pantry in Webster City. “It just makes you a better person to be a part of it. We need more good people in the world during these times.”
This pantry is one of two installations in Webster City and was the third pantry added to our program. It was installed in June of 2020 in hopes of serving a high traffic area, and Gerhard takes extra care to stock the pantry full of items appropriate for multicultural patrons. When he heard that there were going to be Little Free Pantries in Webster City, he jumped at the chance to get involved.
“Iowa Select Farms has really done a lot for me, and they are so family oriented, so I am more than willing to help out with any opportunity I can. I really wanted to give back to the company and the community of Webster City,” said Gerhard.
Because of the high demand in the Webster City community, he fills the pantry on a weekly basis and is often able to meet some of the people his work impacts.
“I’ll often have kids come up to me while I’m filling the pantry and I’ll hand things directly to them,” he said. “A while ago a mom came up to me to thank me for putting gloves in the pantry and said she couldn’t have afforded them otherwise. That definitely made me tear up a bit.”
While working with a pantry in a high traffic area isn’t always easy, Gerhard works hard to make sure the pantry is always stocked and takes great pride in his work as a pantry captain. He often takes his son along to shop for and stock the pantry. He views it as an opportunity to teach his son the importance of giving back and to show him his pride for the project and the company.
“I wear the Iowa Select Farms logo like a badge of honor because we are a great company, and we work so hard to give back to our communities. I love to talk to people about where I work and why I do this,” said Gerhard. “It’s not just a hog operation, it’s not just about money. Jeff Hansen really believes in giving back to his roots and I’m proud to be a part of that in any way I can.”