An update on the Monticello Food Pantry

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, 

A HUGE thank you to all who recently participated in the Boy Scouts Food Drive for our local food pantry, resulting in 1,731 pounds of donated food, hygiene and cleaning supplies, and paper products. The shelves are looking very well stocked! 

Many of you have asked questions about the pantry, so the steering committee thought this would be a good time to address those.

Who can use the Monticello Food Pantry? Anyone expressing they need help with food who lives in the Monticello area or has children in the Monticello schools. (This includes Scotch Grove.)

Where is the pantry located? Clients/families check in at First Presbyterian Church, ground floor, nursery room where locked files are kept. Then they proceed across the alley, 205 W. First St., back entrance behind the Farm Bureau office, where the food/supplies are stored and distributed from. Volunteers greet them and guide them through this process.

How often can individuals/families use the pantry? And when? Once a month: Mondays from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon, and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. They can also receive supplies from the HACAP mobile food pantry truck that comes to the Monticello library parking lot on the fourth Monday of each month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Where does the food come from? Local residents drop off donations during pantry hours as well as clubs, businesses, churches, agencies, and school drives. We also pick up supplies from the HACAP food reservoir in Hiawatha, which warehouses food from the National Feed America Program and other donations. We can order supplies from that reservoir, many at no charge (USDA program) and some at a fraction of retail costs, using monetary donations we receive which stretch our dollars significantly. (For example, one of our orders totaled over 400 pounds and cost less then $35.) Other needed supplies are purchased from Fareway at their case price using donated money. In 2019, HACAP began delivering milk every Wednesday to our pantry. Donations allowed us to purchase a new reach-in cooler where the milk and other perishable food is kept. 

Who manages and maintains the Monticello Food Pantry? The Monticello Ministerial Association provides pantry oversight, represented by Pastor Emory Gillespie. A steering committee meets monthly to provide pantry organization: Pastor Emory, Susan Gilchrist, Kevin Schmidt, Marilyn Schneiderman, and Anne Strittmatter. The check-in area is staffed by volunteers from the steering committee and the community. Local churches take turns monthly to provide volunteers to help the families pick up their supplies, restock the shelves, clean and break down boxes. Volunteers from Advancement Services often help us unload large deliveries and restock the shelves. 

Can produce from local gardens be donated? Yes, we can accept garden produce and local eggs. We cannot accept home-canned goods, like jams and vegetables. 

Again, thank you for donating and volunteering. We are grateful for the wonderful teamwork that allows us to continue to assist families in need. 


The Food Pantry Steering Committee: 

Pastor Emory Gillespie 

Susan Gilchrist 

Kevin Schmidt 

Marilyn Schneiderman 

Anne Strittmatter 


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