Southern Iowa continues to wrestle with the growing problem of food insecurity. Recent surveys show that 23% of children in Wapello County are food insecure. Ottumwa Schools recently shared that nearly 65% of the students participate in the free and reduced lunch program. “Many area food pantries continue to run out of supplies and the Food Bank of Southern Iowa is hard pressed to keep up.” Stated Tom Lazio, Chairman of the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation.
To address this crisis, the Food Bank of Southern Iowa (FBOSI) has launched a new initiative called the “Revolving Food Fund”. “While we try to supply pantries with needed resources, oftentimes we don’t have what pantries really need, thereby forcing them to purchase at full price out in the marketplace” stated Neal Abbott, Executive Director of FBOSI. This special fund is designed to purchase both staples and food from wholesalers and re-sell to pantries at discounted prices. The net difference will be used to replenish the fund – thus “revolving” and self-sustaining.
A key element of the Legacy Foundation’s mission statement is to improve the health and community vitality of the area. The Foundation’s Board of Directors felt strongly that this opportunity to “kick start” the fund with a $100,000 gift aligned perfectly with that mission. Brad Little, President of the Legacy Foundation said “This is just the beginning of what we hope others will contribute to and begin a better conversation about how to work towards eliminating food insecurity”.
For more information on how to contribute to the Revolving Food Fund please contact Neal Abbott at (641) 682-3403 or FBOSI’s website at www.FoodBankofSouthernIowa.com