Decorahnews.com reader Bre e-mails: "Is there somewhere in Decorah that people can drop off food to be donated?"
Mr. Answer Person replies: Actually, there are several places. Food pantries in Decorah include the Decorah Lutheran Church Food Pantry, Food Pantry at First Lutheran in Decorah, the Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation's Food Pantry and Helping Services for Northeast Iowa's Food Shelf. There are other food pantries in Cresco, Postville and Waukon. Also, the RSVP program has set out boxes for donation drop off in area public libraries.
Adrian Walter at First Lutheran Church says food, both perishable and non-perishable, can be dropped off during normal church hours from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. "We also give out non-food items such as toilet paper, coats, soap, etc.," Walter notes. He says the church also appreciates people interested in helping during the week in the mornings stocking shelves and unloading trucks that bring us food from Waterloo. The First Lutheran food pantry also needs volunteers each afternoon during the week and Thursday nights to help staff the pantry. People can contact the church for more information at 382-2638.
Pat Gjere at Decorah Lutheran Church says monetary, non perishable food, soap and paper product donations to the Decorah Lutheran Church Food Pantry can be brought to the church office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
David Boss at Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation says the Winneshiek County Food Pantry needs to verify a household's income to make sure that they are at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Boss also notes, "Any locally produced meat, poultry or fish that is being donated must have been processed through a USDA approved processing facility such as one of the many lockers in northeast Iowa. We can't accept these that have processed at home. Also we can't accept home canned or frozen produce like vegetable or fruit." Anyone can drop food, toiletries, cleaning and paper products off at NEICAC's offices in the Old Smith Building, open Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The pantry is part of the Family Service office in the basement.
If you're thinking of making a donation to any of the local food pantries, the most appreciated gifts are diapers, soap, shampoo, tooth paste, tooth brushes, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, facial tissues and, of course, money! Checks may be made to the food pantry of your choice.