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Feed Iowa First food pantry brings free vegetables to Wellington Heights

Published: Sep. 5, 2021 at 11:30 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A food pantry installed in Wellington Heights in Cedar Rapids has quickly become a popular place for people to get vegetables.

”When I drive up, they know that there’s fresh veggies coming, what do you have this time? It’s really cool to interact with everybody,” Correy Daum told us, Distribution Coordinator for Feed Iowa First.

Feed Iowa First provides the produce for the pantry. They clean the vegetables before stocking the fridge each time. They also grow the produce fresh in 29 different urban farms across town.

Wellington Heights prides itself on being a historic, walkable neighborhood. Having the pantry, right off the sidewalk on 15th Street SE, has been huge.

”They’ve had to refill it three or four times a week because there’s so many people interacting with it,” Eric Gutschmidt said, President of the Wellington Heights Neighborhood Association.

The pantry is open to anyone within walking distance of the area.

”Anyone can take as much food as they want. There’s no limits, there’s no security, no one is keeping count,” Gutschmidt explained.

Feed Iowa First told us they can always use more volunteers to help prepare the produce, whether that means harvesting it or helping in the cleaning process. Those wishing to help can reach out through the Feed Iowa First website.

Feed Iowa First can also always use more vegetables. The nonprofit provides produce to multiple pantries in the area.

”We take donations if people have excess,” Daum said.

You can bring leftovers from your garden to their shop off 10th street southeast to be cleaned. They’ll even take donations after hours.

”There is a cooler out front that people can drop things in,” Daum told us.

Gutschmidt said having the new pantry in Wellington Heights has brought a modern concept to one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

”This isn’t a charity trying to give free food to people who need free food. This is just good people giving food to good people,” Gutschmidt said.

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