The Enhance Hamilton County Foundation has issued a challenge to raise funds for the county's three food pantries. The Lord's Cupboard, in Jewell, food pantry in Stratford and Upper Des Moines Opportunity in Webster City all have food and personal care resources that are made available to families who are struggling to put food on the table.
School administrators have reported that the number of free and reduced price lunches have climbed over the last school year. The number of infants and toddlers with a disability rose 300 percent in Hamilton County according to recent statistics. And the poverty rate is climbing. Foundation officials said this data demonstrates the dire circumstances that Hamilton County residents face today, and those citizens who are able are asked to help those who are down on their luck.
According to volunteers who operate the pantries in Jewell and Stratford, summer is a time that sees increased usage and yet donations decrease. In addition to this norm, Hamilton County's unemployment rate has climbed to 9 percent compared to the state average of 6 percent. In this time of economic stress, the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation board has pledged $1,000 to match contributions that are made to the food pantries this summer.
Hamilton County individuals and businesses are asked to make cash donations to the food pantry of his or her choice. Do this by writing a check to EHCF and mailing it to P.O. Box 474, Webster City, IA 50595. Designate to which food pantry the donation needs should be credited. The county foundation will match dollar-for-dollar cash that is received for the three food pantries. A?total of $2,000 has been set aside for this challenge, foundation officials said.