The food pantry (Loaves and Fishes) began in 1985 during the farm crisis. Ten area churches serve on the board which meets every two months and covers the Gilbert, Roland and Story City area. These churches rotate working at the pantry on Saturday mornings.

The pantry is open from 10:00 to Noon and is located across the street from Napa Auto Parts (in the former Gookin Ford building). Families are limited to once-a- month visits/withdrawals. The ten churches also rotate annually in the leadership role for the pantry. Leadership duties include purchasing the food, stocking shelves, keeping informed of policy changes and other various responsibilities. We try to purchase as much food from the Food Bank of Iowa in Des Moines where cost is .18/pound. Since the Food Bank also depends on donations, they do not always have all that we need – so then we go to Aldis or Dollar General for supplies. Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry always tries to purchase at the lowest prices we can.

Grace Church will take our turn at being in charge for the year 2018 – Judy Miller and Sue Bohner have agreed to serve as co-chairs. We’ll also need a treasurer and a secretary. It would be ideal if these volunteers could begin going to the pantry meetings in 2017 to get an idea of how this organization all fits together. Please keep in mind, our leadership volunteers do NOT need to do everything alone – there are a lot of people willing to help. Last year the pantry served 683 families which translates to 2624 individuals within those families. We are always appreciative of food donations. We are thankful for the Boy Scouts, postal workers, schools and other organizations who spearhead large collections – we are happy to restock our shelves! Keep in mind, Grace Church holds our own annual Harvest Home food collection rally the first three weeks of November.

If you would be willing to serve in on the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry Board in 2018, please talk to Michelle Hassebrock, Sue Bohner, or Lynn Henricks. They can answer any questions you may have. If you are interested in visiting the pantry, let them know and they will give you a tour. And, as always, if you would like to volunteer to work on a Saturday, they can help get you going on that as well. Working at the pantry is very rewarding.

Co-Chairs: Judy Miller & Sue Bohner