By Alice Stramer

Although not considered the Bible Belt, we are a marsala of Christian religions, following the teachings of Jesus. Deriving heartfelt compassions from the Beatitudes, we tend to act upon His teachings. Knowing that the poor will always be among us, and knowing our wealth is a gift, from God, for us to share, you will read some figures. Generated from the Benton County Food Pantry meeting in February, 2018, these figures are a true realization of the need within our communities.

We have two pantry sites in Benton County, which comprise the Benton County Food Pantry, These are located in Belle Plaine and Vinton. Depending on locations of residence, determines which one an individual or family, senior or veteran, may utilize. These pantry sites are comprised of devoted, volunteering persons who purchase from H.A.C.A.P., or stores, with an eye on the costs of items. They bring health and hygiene products, household cleansers, and foods, so that the consumer get a break on more than bi-monthly groceries.

The pantry in Belle Plaine is listed in the first three months, and Vinton’s pantry is next, with their figures for the months of November, December and January.

Households Adults Children Seniors Total

November 49 58 36 29 122

December 68 83 46 32 161

January 78 105 53 23 181

November 77 66 22 66 141

December 84 68 24 63 155

January 91 87 45 65 197

Pantry users are urged to use the facilities as a hand up, and may come 6 times per year. They leave the buildings with several boxes to help get through leaner times. The pantry also subsudizes milk money and some lunch money to assist with all children having a milk box.

Donations may be made through the churches in the county. Donations may also be sent to :

Benton County Food Pantry, Post Office Box 3, Vinton, IA. THANK YOU