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UDMO food pantry major undertaking

By Staff | Jan 9, 2017

This is the second in our series The Good You Can Do, a report on volunteer opportunities in Emmet County, leading up to Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Jan. 16. If your organization has opportunities for volunteers to get involved, please contact us.

Last Spring, the Estherville News highlighted Lois Creech and Paulette Graff, who volunteer in the food pantry of Upper Des Moines Opportunity.

“These are two very consistent volunteers at Upper Des ?Moines in Estherville,”?Alisa Schlief, FaDSS Coordinator for UDMO?in Fort Dodge, said.

The UDMO?food pantry has many tasks for volunteers to do, Schlief said.

“We need people to unload the food when we get it, organize shelves, distribute the food on distribution days. It’s a big project.”?

Schlief said in the summer, the need for volunteers extends to loading backpacks and supplies for the back to school giveaway for UDMO’s clients.

Schlief said Estherville Outreach Coordinator Mandy Hoss, recently started as the part-time, solo outreach worker for Estherville.

Schlief said the Emmet County center is in need of toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, laundry soap, and canned fruit.

The Outreach Emergency Food Pantries rely on donations from businesses and organizations to keep their pantries stocked.

Creech said in April, “”It feels great to meet a real need through the work I do.” She feels her goal of giving back to the community is met through her weekly efforts at the UDMO Food Bank.

Upper Des Moines Opportunity is one of 17 such nonprofit organizations in Iowa and provides programs and services to low-income families in Buena Vista, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Hamilton, Humboldt, O’Brien, Osceola, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Webster and Wright counties.

Community Action Agencies grew out of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson’s war on poverty, bringing programs nad services to communities across the United States.

UDMO promotes self-sufficiency by providing a variety of programs to fight poverty, improve health and increase educational attainment for family members of all ages.

Scientific studies have shown that individuals who volunteer enjoy psychological and physical benefits, including increased satisfaction, improved sense of belonging, lower blood pressure, increased protection from Alzheimer’s, and decreased mortality.

To contact Mandy Ross at UDMO’s Estherville Outreach Center, call 712-362-2391. The Center is located at 508 S 1st St B, Estherville, IA 51334.