Lansing Iowa Food Trust (LIFT) to host open house for the general public November 3

LIFT to host open house this Saturday ... Volunteers help stock the shelves at the Lansing Iowa Food Trust (LIFT) for its weekly open usage hours each Wednesday evening from 4-8 p.m. LIFT will be hosting an open house Saturday, November 3 from 10 a.m.-12 noon to give the general public an opportunity to see how LIFT serves the community. Photo by Susan Cantine-Maxson.

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

The Lansing Iowa FoodTrust (LIFT) has been in operation for almost a month now. The LIFT Board would like to invite the public to an Open House at the LIFT site at 220 South Third Street (the former Rethswich Lumber office in Lansing) November 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The open house will give the public an opportunity to see how the operation runs on a weekly basis. The well-lit room which holds the food items available to local families or individuals is an inviting atmosphere. The back room serves as a much-needed storage area for food items waiting to be placed on the shelves for restocking. Several volunteers assist clients as they choose the food they want.

On average, approximately 10-12 households per week have been coming to pick up food. Clients are asked to come every other week to pick up their needed food items. Board members have been exceptionally pleased with the number of volunteers, the community support and the number of people who have been using the facility.

One user stated, “This is a godsend. My daughter works and can’t get away from work when it’s open and I don’t have a vehicle to drive to Waukon. My neighbor brings me here and I can pick up what she needs. I can’t believe what a great place this is and what a wonderful selection of food they have.”

The first time that clients come to the food pantry they need to fill out a form which they must sign which states what their approximate income is and where they live. After that, clients can come to LIFT Wednesdays from 4-8 p.m. Volunteers can go with the client to help them carry the food and check out. The Quillin’s IGA store in Lansing has loaned LIFT a few grocery carts to help with the food selection process.

Clients are encouraged to come every other week to pick up the food. After the initial form is filled out, clients can write a note authorizing a designated person to pick up their food since not everyone is available to come during the designated open hours.

Guidelines for eligibility are similar to guidelines for eligibility for free and reduced lunch at school. The LIFT guidelines are as follows:

For a household of 1 person, gross monthly income is approximately $1,584. For a household of 2, gross monthly income is $2,136 or less; for 3-$2,688; for 4-$3,240; for 5-$3,792, for 6-$4,344; for 7-$4,898; and for 8-$5,453.

In addition, those interested in more information about other food assistance programs in Iowa can pick up brochures at LIFT. These programs include information about the free and reduced school lunch, the WIC (Women, Infant & Children) nutrition program, the Summer Food Service Program and the Iowa Food Assistance Program (SNAP), which allows residents to buy food at grocery stores, retailers and some farmers’ markets.

Food for LIFT is purchased monthly from the Northeast Iowa Food Bank supply house in Waterloo. Much of the food purchased at a discount is from government commodities. Other food and non-food items come from donations. Food and non-food items may be dropped off during open hours each Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. December 5, winter hours will begin with a 4-7 p.m. time slot each Wednesday.

In addition to food donations, the board also appreciates monetary donations since they need to pay rent and utilities, as well as purchase food items each month. Some area churches have responded by allocating a donation to the food bank each month. Individual monetary donations may be sent to LIFT, P.O. Box 421, Lansing, IA 52151.

What a recipient receives during a LIFT visit will vary depending on availability, but each visit would include similar items. For example, a household of one to three people may receive two cans of corn, two cans of fruit, two cans of mixed veggies, beans or dried beans, two boxes of pasta, two cans of tomatoes, two boxes of macaroni and cheese, three packages of ramen noodles, two boxes of potato salad, three small containers of beef broth, one box of crackers, one box of cereal, one container of oatmeal, one package of cookies, one box of cookie mix, one gallon of milk, four to six yogurts, one large package of shredded cheese, one package of frozen chicken or ham, one package of frozen beef. In addition, there are several  bakery items available where clients may take as much as they can use, as well as donated items which may include non-food items such as shampoo, soap or toothpaste.

Other donated food items are available for clients to choose from. Fresh produce such as fresh fruit and vegetables are also available. Apples are a popular item right now. Produce may vary according to the season. Households of four or more are eligible for more quantities of items.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet