Zach - Webster City Little Free Pantry Captain

posted on Friday, February 11, 2022

Since the very beginning of our community giving efforts, we've witnessed first-hand how the littlest of gestures can provide big, meaningful support to a family or child in need. With that idea in mind, the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation developed the Little Free Pantry program that works to provide 24/7 access to resources for families facing short-term, emergency situations.

The pantries supplement existing hunger relief efforts for families who do not have the ability to buy food, and since the program began in 2019, the Foundation has installed 10 pantries in 9 different Homegrown Iowa communities across the state. Open the door of one of these pantries and you’ll find easy-to-prepare snacks for kids, personal hygiene products, items for infants, ready-to-eat meals and seasonal items like warm weather clothing, school supplies and much more, all there to help whoever might need them.

These Little Free Pantries have an immediate and far-reaching impact in the communities they are placed in, but none of that would be possible without our exceptional group of Iowa Select Farms employees and families who stock and care for the pantries – fittingly called our Little Free Pantry Captains. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing the stories of each of our captains, shedding light on all the hard work they do to positively impact their communities.

Our first featured captain, Zach, is one of two Iowa Select employees who maintains the Little Free Pantry outside of Fuller Hall in Webster City. He helped install the pantry there in June of 2020 and has been involved ever since.

“I volunteered to help install both pantries in Webster City, and then I just kind of got wrapped up in it,” he explained. It wasn’t a planned thing, but there really is a need for it in the community, and it’s a small thing I can help with that really benefits others.”

There is a distinct need for the program in the Webster City community, so much so that two pantries were installed in different areas of the town to help meet the demand. Zach has witnessed this need firsthand.

“I don’t think there’s been a single time I’ve put in things in there that have lasted for more than 24 hours,” he said.

However, even though the demand may be high and keeping everything stocked is sometimes challenging, taking care of the pantry is something Zach enjoys doing. He looks forward to the small things.

“It’s pretty fun, especially during back-to-school time. Putting school supplies in there is really fun and seeing the kids take those is great because you know it’s helping them learn.”

Zach is also proud of what this project says about Iowa Select Farms and their commitment to supporting the communities where their employees live and work. He knows the small gesture of his work caring for the pantry speaks volumes about the company.

“The visibility in the community is great because there are a lot of Iowa Select employees that live in Webster City,” said Zach. “People see the pantry and they know who it’s from and get to see a little bit of what it means to be part of Iowa Select.”

Zach stands by his pantry