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Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank to hold open house Friday at new location

hawkeye-harvest-food-bank1MASON CITY – Hawkeye Harvest Food bank will unveil its new home Friday, and is asking for the community’s help in reaching their $300,000 goal for the capital campaign which will fund its expansion.That is what it will cost to get the 4,000-square-foot building purchased, remodeled and re-equipped.

The food bank’s special open house will be in their new location at 122 South Adams (the old Salvation Army Thrift Store). The building is located one block west of the JC Penney store in Southbridge Mall. The open house on Friday will be held from 9 AM until 5 PM.

“We want to give all who have donated their time, talents or made a financial donation or pledge to see first hand what those contributions and in kind donations have done to help us get into our new location stated Linda Duvall, president of Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank.

“This will allow everyone who comes to our open house on Friday to see firsthand the handicap accessibility,our upgraded freezer and refrigeration equipment, and all the other improvements that we needed to make” added food bank volunteer Carol Clayton. The 4,000 square foot facility will enable the local food bank to have approximately one month’s supply of food(approximately 15,000 pounds) on hand at all times and everything will be on one level with a handy overhead garage door that can even accommodate a semi truck for deliveries and unloading.

The food bank will continue to serve clients at their 22 North Georgia location until Wednesday, Oct 1st. No client orders will be filled during the open house on Friday at the new 22 South Adams location. This date is being reserved to show the community what the new food bank looks like and give them a chance to see their new clients choice program will work.

The new location will allow Hawkeye Harvest Food bank to offer an entirely new client choice plan. Here is how the client choice program will work: Food is set up on shelves by food groups. Clients will walk alongside a food bank volunteer. They will push their shopping cart through the space with a volunteer and take food off shelves according to food bank guidelines. Meat will be the first food choice, followed by the selection of canned goods. After selecting their choices of meat and canned goods they will go to the refrigerator and pick out refrigerated produce and other items that require refrigeration. Next they will pick out bread and baked goods. After that they will pick out assorted miscellaneous items according to the size of their family. The whole food bank selection will now be open for clients. “This approach allows our clients to handle food and look at the labels just as if they were shopping in a grocery store, explained Clayton. After finishing their shopping they will pack their food in bags. Clients will now be responsible for providing their own plastic, paper or cloth bags when they come to the new location beginning on Wednesday, October 1st.

The new location will be officially open to the general public on Wednesday, October 1st. Once in their new location Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank will be observing new hours. Their new hours will be from 1-4 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Mondays the hours will be from 2:30-5:30 pm. Anyone who has a donation to drop off can now bring in their food and produce items or financial contributions to the food bank between 9 and 11 in the morning Monday through Friday instead of in the afternoon.

Ozzie Ohl, capital campaign chair person for the food bank’s” Step up to the Plate” fund raising commented “At this time Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank has raised just under $204,000 of the $300,000 we need for this. We are hoping that the remaining $96,000 can be raised yet during September and early October.”

Ohl added,”We have to cut our fund drive off at that time so we don’t hurt our holiday appeal efforts. We need money for this project but we just can’t jeopardize our holiday appeal donations by continuing the campaign beyond mid-October”. Those holiday appeal dollars are used primarily for the purchase of food during the year. “Hopefully we can do some grant writing to cover what we don’t raise at this time. If that isn’t successful in reaching our goal of $300,000 we will restart the capital campaign next spring” Ohl noted.

Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank is the largest all volunteer food bank served by the Food Bank of Iowa. The local food bank and their 80 local volunteers serve people from 41 different communities within a 12 county area in North Iowa. This past year they provided enough food to those they serve to help make over 200,000 meals for almost 17,000 people. They are a recognized 501-C3 non profit and all donations are tax deductible. Anyone wanting to make a donation can drop the donation off during the open house or mail their contribution to Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank Post Office Box 1565 Mason City, Ia. More information about Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank can be found on their Facebook page.

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…my wife and I were out on “Park Watch” one evening and as we road around looking for the “bad guys”, we thought we might as well look for any place that might “work” as the new home of the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank building. We saw several, but they all seemed to have something that didn’t quite fit or wouldn’t be the best. By the end of our tour we had pretty much decided the building that would work the best…was the building eventually picked…sorry we didn’t share our thoughts…

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