CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The first vehicle arrived at 8:30 a.m. to wait for a “drive-through” food pantry opening at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 9, at the Veterans Memorial Stadium parking lot.
HACAP Food Reservoir offers a regular mobile food pantry, but this was the first wide-scale food giveaway held in response to needs related to the coronavirus pandemic, said Kim Guardado, director of the HACAP Food Reservoir.
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Guardado said enough food was assembled for 700 households, but the lengthy line of vehicles appeared it might exceed the amount available.
Cereal donated by General Mills, milk, apples, pork, turkey and more were loaded into vehicles that lined up through the parking lot and queued into the neighboring Kingston Stadium parking lot in southwest Cedar Rapids.
HACAP purchased some of the items, while others were provided through the USDA and some were donated.
No registration or proof of need was required.
A handful of HACAP staff members were bolstered by 40 to 50 volunteers who “came out of the woodwork” to help, a grateful Guardado said, noting that other events may be scheduled in the future.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of generosity in our community,” she said, but citing job layoffs and other economic repercussions from the pandemic, added, “today I’m overwhelmed with the need.”
See more from the drive-through food pantry, below. (Photos © Cindy Hadish/Homegrown Iowan)