IDA Community Basket— Haul Out Hunger
“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.”
Kris couldn’t have been more right when she said the Community Basket isn’t like most pantries we visit – not all directors are eager to grab 72-pound cases of pork loins from our semi!
In addition to the case of pork loins Kris helped us unload, our team left her and husband, Steve, with 10 cases for the Ida Community Basket. The loins will be delivered at different mobile pantries throughout the summer.
“We’re considered to be the model of all mobiles, at least in this area,” explained Kris. “We have a 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 approximately 120 people per month.
“The mobile pantry allows us to hit several different communities, but sometimes families can’t make it, so we give them another opportunity to come to us,” explained Kris. “We have a site pantry every month too, which means a family could be served twice in one month.”
At mobile pantries, families walk around and grab items off tables they would enjoy. At the site pantry items are pre-packaged for them, but the pantry takes into consideration requests for specific items the family needs. Kris and her team have also prepared pork loins to give families ideas for hearty, delicious meals.
“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 six 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 give back. And of course we have to thank her husband Steve for once again helping us unload more than 700 pounds of pork for the Community Basket.
Take it from us—Kris and Steve are truly some of the best and we’re grateful to partner with them to end food insecurity in Ida County.