HURLEY — Residents of Iron County took part in the first mobile food pantry Monday at the Iron County Courthouse in Hurley.
The pantry was created through a partnership between the Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office and Second Harvest Food Pantry, of Duluth, Minn.
Food was handed out for an hour in the parking lot, with many residents lining up before food was handed out.
“It’s exciting to see how receptive people are, and it also shows us the level of need we have in Iron County,” Joy Schelble, Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program coordinator for the UW-Extension office, said.
People were given cereal, pasta, canned goods and fresh produce from the community and Hurley K-12 School gardens.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to offer fresh produce from our community and school gardens,” Schelble said. “It was really nice to have young people involved with the process.”
The pantry will take place the last Monday of every month from noon to 1 p.m. The goal is to expand the pantry to travel across the county, as well as offer a drive-up option.
“We’ll have a different system once the weather changes,” Schelble said. “Starting in October, we’ll have a drive-up option so people won’t have to get out of their cars.”
Future participants can fill out a form during pantry hours or in the Extension office during the week.
“This is no cost to Iron County residents and it is a self-identified need program,” Schelble said. “You show up, fill out a quick form and that is it. We try to make it as streamlined and as easy as possible for people.”
Employees from the Iron County UW-Extension office and Human Services Department helped hand out food, as well as volunteers.
“The volunteerism in this community is really inspiring,” Schelble said.
For more information, call the Extension office at 715-561-2695.