An Eastern Iowa non-profit working to help those less fortunate is being overwhelmed by requests for help.
Now, group leaders are turning to the community for help.
Mission of Hope has two facilities: A storefront where they hold community meals on First Avenue Southeast and a shelter at 211 Park Court Southeast. The organization is planning on moving into an existing church in the Mound View neighborhood.
A lot of resources are going into that new facility, but now the mission is asking for more help.
The executive director said that's a totally separate capital campaign with separate donors. The Mission of Hope would be in this tight spot even without that project. It said while that project starts up, it still needs to keep the doors open and the lights on at their current sites.
“You see this empty shelf? This is where usually like our boxed macaroni and stuff go,” said Mission of Hope Volunteer Lori Duehr.
Supplies and money are dwindling for the Mission of Hope.
“Daily funding for the food pantry and for lights and for this operation here on First Avenue — lights, utilities, rent, and really we need canned goods,” said Mission of Hope Executive Director Martin Dwyer.
The need is so great that the organization put out a call for help on social media. The message said in part “This summer we are meeting record needs ... our operating reserves are temporarily depleted.”
“This summer we've got a combination of pressures on top of the fact that I think our support group, like everyone else, does get distracted with other activities during the summer too,” Dwyer said.
The executive director said those pressures include a growing homeless population and seasonal needs.
“The kids are out of school, young families are very stressed and so they are using food pantries more heavily,” Dwyer said.
“The month of June we had high numbers [of] anywhere between 45 to 55 families, which is awful high,” Duehr said.
Now, the organization is looking into options such as shutting down the food pantry for a couple hours each day.
“We are also looking at — some of our staff have offered to go without pay,” Dwyer said.
While these are options, they're praying donors will step up to get them out of this situation.
Volunteers said they've already seen some boxes of food starting to come through the door.
If people would like to contact the Mission of Hope, you can visit their website by clicking here.
l Comments: 319-398-8268; firstname.lastname@example.org