Welcome to the North Liberty Community Pantry website. Our mission is to engage our community in feeding and clothing our neighbors.
The community is invited to a free screening of the documentary American Winter on Thursday, March 13th, beginning at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church hosted by the North Liberty Community Pantry. Following the screening there will be a panel discussion including local organization and community leaders. Light refreshments will be provided.
Directed by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz American Winter documents the experiences of eight families struggling to meet their basic needs and turning to social services for assistance after facing unforeseen financial setbacks. Through the stories of these eight families, the impacts of rising poverty and economic insecurity for American families are explored, and the ramifications of America’s weakening social safety net are demonstrated.
The experiences of the families in this film are very similar to what many local families face every day. The North Liberty Community Pantry had a 10% increase in families requesting assistance in 2013. There was also an 18% increase in visits by families and a 30% increase in pounds of food and toiletries that were distributed. “More families are needing help, and families are needing more help” stated Executive Director, Tina DuBois.
The Pantry is a place where people come together and support one another. Community is built every day in the Pantry. The families we serve help each other, volunteers and families get to know each other, and the community becomes stronger as a whole.
What makes our pantry special?
One thing that makes us special is our “shopping” approach. In 2006 we took a leap of faith and changed from distributing pre-sacked bags to providing a client-choice method of food distribution. Families choose what they need and there are few limits on more expensive, less available items such as meat and toiletries.
Why shopping? This is a question we forget to ask ourselves anymore. We had some very skeptical volunteers at first, but shopping has become a unique and successful way to help families meet their needs. Research says standardized boxes increase waste. Up to half the food given will not ultimately be consumed. For us, however, in the end it is more about the respect we provide each other and the community building that develops through the relationships that are created in the Pantry.