15 food pantries, 225 miles and 10,320 pounds of pork later and that's a wrap on day three of Haul Out Hunger!
Our final stop of the day brought us to a food pantry we have never visited before, although we're still scratching our heads at how we've missed this pantry in the past because boy, it's something special!
Fueled by generosity, kindness and servant leadership, the Neighborhood Food Bank represents the idyllic charm of rural America and we couldn't have been happier to leave 12 cases of pork loins with anyone else.
"I've been here for 20 years and it's the same thing that keeps me coming back all this time...the people that we're helping," said Wayne Johns, who serves as president of the food bank's board of directors. "We have a lot of single mothers come in here with their children and when they leave with food they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford on their own, you know you're helping the ones that truly need it most."
Open every Monday afternoon and anytime on an as-needed basis, the food bank relies on 12-15 regular volunteers to serve 200 families a month.
"I retired from the Winnebago plant and wanted to give back to the community," said Tim Kleemeier, who matches the typical profile of the food bank's volunteer base. "It's a very fulfilling experience and rewarding to see so many community members support a common cause."
In addition to today's donation of 720 pounds of pork, the food bank relies on local businesses, churches, schools and even the local coop to help keep their shelves stocked.
"We're very fortunate to have the support that we do," said Tim. "Agriculture is very strong in this area and it's not uncommon for local farmers to donate ground beef or pork, and there are even farmers that donate a share of their harvest profits to us via the coop, but a donation like this... it's very uncommon and we are so grateful."
We hope you've enjoyed following along today as we traveled throughout north central Iowa stocking the freezers of local food pantries with fresh pork intended for low income and/or food insecure households.
We'll be taking our semi south towards Creston, Osceola and Humeston on Wednesday, so stay tuned for exciting updates. The Haul Out Hunger journey continues!