Food pantry on the move
HURLEY - Beginning Nov. 25, the Iron County Mobile Food Pantry will move to a new location to better serve local residents.
The pantry, a collaboration between Second Harvest Food Bank in Duluth, Minn., and the Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office, will be moved to the parking lot of the Iron County Recycling and Forestry offices in Hurley on Third Avenue North.
Originally, the pantry was located in the parking lot of the Iron County Courthouse, but the space is becoming too limited.
The pantry features a drive-through where residents don't have to step out of their cars to receive items. The feature was added because of the cold winter months.
"Many of our participants are elderly," Joy Schelble, Wisconsin nutrition education program coordinator, said, "so we decided to add the drive-through to make it easier. While the whole community has been really supportive and helpful, we caused a bit of a traffic jam in the courthouse parking lot last month, so we decided to move."
Last month alone, the pantry served 130 vehicles in one hour, and helped 286 individuals by handing out 8,546 pounds of food.
"While it is a success, it's hard to feel good about it, because of the level of need we have here in Iron County," Schelble said. "This brought the attention to all of us about the level of need we have, and I believe it has strengthened the relationships between in the emergency food services in the county, because we are all aware of what needs to be done."
The mobile food pantry takes place the last Monday of the month from noon to 1 p.m. People can still sign up for the program, and applications are available in the Extension office at the courthouse, as well as at the mobile pantry.
"It's a short and sweet event, only an hour," Schelble said. "We also decided to have it the last Monday of the month because of the pressure on budgets during that time."
For more information about the food pantry or to sign up, call the Iron County UW-Extension office at 715-561-2695.