Pantry Plus is an educational program of the Fellowship Cup in Mount Pleasant, which is designed to help clients locate resources and learn skills in order to overcome dependency on support services.
Poverty is a significant problem in Henry County. Nearly 17% of residents fall below the poverty line, a number topped by only seven other counties in Iowa. In order to address hunger and poverty, the Fellowship Cup operates a food pantry, serving an average of 885 households annually.
However, providing food once a week is not sufficient to help people find sustainable solutions to hunger and poverty. Pantry Plus offers classes on budgeting, nutrition, healthy choices, and food economics. Clients of the food pantry have the opportunity to participate in classes eight times each year.
Southeast District Matthew 25 funds, coming from apportionment gifts of local United Methodist churches in Iowa, were used in 2013 to continue expanding the selection of materials for the Pantry Plus program. New DVDs were purchased, focusing on healthy eating on a budget and making wise financial choices. In addition, the program purchased Spanish-language DVDs for the growing Hispanic clientele of the food pantry.