"This is the coolest place I have ever volunteered and I look forward to coming here every week," exclaimed Judy Mulkey, one of the many volunteers that can be found at Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank. "You just feel good about what you're doing and know that you're actually making a positive difference in the lives of people that live here."
After moving into a newer, larger facility in Mason City nearly three years ago, Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank moves enough food and household supplies through its doors to support nearly 2,000 families every month. "I'm a volunteer, but I can be found here 40 hours a week," said Carol Clayton, a longtime volunteer at the food bank. "We wouldn't be able to survive without the generous people that volunteer so much of their time to help stock shelves, inventory and distribute product. We rely on 150 unpaid volunteers every single week."
Set up similar to many grocery stores, patrons of Hawkeye Harvest are able to roam the many aisles filled sky high with canned and dry goods, fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products. "We have everything categorized and families are able to grab a certain number of items from each category depending on their household size," explained Carol. "This approach allows our clients to handle food and look at the labels just as if they were shopping at a regular grocery store."
The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation and Iowa Select Farms have been long-time supporters of Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank and have donated more than 1.5 tons of pork since 2013 and this year we filled their freezer with an additional 1,200 pounds of fresh pork loins!
According to a recent Feeding America study, Cerro Gordo County has a higher than average number of individuals who are food insecure. A BIG, heartfelt thank you goes out to Carol, Judy and all of the volunteers at the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank that are taking a stand against hunger and doing their part to end food insecurity in Cerro Gordo County. #HaulOutHunger #billionplus