The shelves inside the Jones County Food Bank are looking alarmingly sparse as the calendar turns to August.
The shelves sit largely empty, with a handful of cereal boxes and some produce smattering the shelves.
“This is about the lowest we’ve been in a long, long time,” Julie Finn, with the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, said. “We’re just out of everything.”
Generally, the food bank, which assists families from all over the county, sees about 125 families a month. In July, they saw 142. With kids home from school and families preparing for school supply purchases as kids head back to the classrooms later this month, it’s a busy time for the food bank. According to Finn, the time both before and after the fair is also one where they see people coming in for items.
Paired with the fact that donations are down and they haven’t received any large donations lately has led to their current predicament. The food bank does get large-scale donations annually from organizations like the Anamosa State Penitentiary, but they are between donation times at the moment and the supplies from their latest food drive in May have shriveled up. Competitions, like the ones recently had between local hospitals, are a good way to get donations up.
While Finn said they’ll take pretty much anything, for those looking to do the most good with their donations, the best items to donate are things that people “can make meals with.” This includes: hamburger helper, pancake batter, pasta and sauce, fruit, vegetables, tuna and chicken.
In addition to food items, the food bank also takes donations of things like hygiene products and laundry detergent.
The food bank is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is located at 105 Broadway Place in Anamosa. They can be reached via phone at 319-462-4343.