October 25, 2021

The Grinnell Food Coalition partnered with local businesses and organizations to bring a Meals from the Heartland packaging opportunity to Grinnell. The event was held on Friday, October 22 at the Bayer offsite warehouse with approximately 100 volunteers gathering to package meals. The macaroni and cheese meal includes a soy protein and taco seasoning for flavor. All 20,000 meals packaged will stay in Poweshiek County and be distributed locally through the following organizations: Tiger Packs, Food Recovery Network, Malcolm Food Pantry, Heart to Heart Food Pantry, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Grinnell Estates, Searsboro Fire Department and Brookside Apartments.

The assembly-line-style packaging event included volunteers placing ingredients into bags that were sealed and boxed for delivery. Thirty-six bags of the taco mac meal, with approximately six servings per bag, were placed into 93 boxes (over 20,000 meals) to be distributed to area agencies. “It was exciting to see so many volunteers from local businesses as well as students from the high school and college come together to package meals,” says Jennifer Cogley from the Ahrens Foundation. Jennifer goes on to explain, “The Meals from the Heartland opportunity became available through local connections and we are grateful for the following funding partners – Grinnell Mutual, Grinnell College, Tiger Packs, Grinnell Food Coalition, the Glenn and Ginger Sterk Family Donor Advised Fund, the Baumann Family Donor Advised Fund and Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation—that have made this event possible, for the use of Bayer’s offsite warehouse, and for the 100+ volunteers.”

The Grinnell Food Coalition has ended its monthly grocery voucher distribution program. Vouchers are now available through the following community partners on an as-needed basis: MICA food pantry, General Assistance, area doctors’ offices, Public Health, Grinnell Housing Authority, local churches, SATUCI, Drake Community Library and area social workers.

The Grinnell Food Coalition is a partner program of the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation. The purpose of the Foundation is to provide improved and enhanced quality of life for present and future generations with interest in the areas of parks & recreation, education, and health with its collaborative partners.