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North Liberty Community Pantry moving forward with new building plans



North Liberty, Iowa – The North Liberty Community Pantry has fed 700 people so far this year, but it isn’t large enough to accommodate all of the donations that come in. The City of North Liberty’s $100,000 grant is a significant first step in expanding the pantry.

The project will cost approximately $4 million in total, and the organization is currently in talks with local groups to secure further contributions. The pantry describes the issue as critical since they do not have enough room at their current location to store all of the items they receive.

“There have been times, unfortunately, where we’ve had to turn away food that’s been donated to us,” Ryan Bobst, executive director of the North Liberty Pantry said. “That is a heartbreaking decision to make.”

Due to the severe weather in January, they were compelled to store some food outside the pantry; moreover, in order to preserve supplies, they have lately needed the assistance of neighborhood kitchens.

“We were able to partner with Field Day Brewing Company to host 13 boxes of catfish for us, which we were able to make enough room for,” Bobst said. “It took just three shifts to bring all that back to distribute to families.”

The surge in donations coincides with a rise in demand for their services.

According to him, the more people they assist, the more space they require. According to Bobst, eighty percent of the families who come in use the pantry as their primary food source.

”Certainly, the financial support toward the campaign is going to be critical for us to continue to serve families with dignity and respect,” Bobst said.

The organization has eliminated its visitor take limit in an effort to combat that need.

The new facility will have 10,000 square feet of space; the organization has already bought the lot for it. Throughout the summer, talks will take place with private contributors; however, later in the campaign, the pantry will openly request public assistance.

By the end of the year, Bobst is optimistic the group will have achieved their objective.