The United Methodist Church is the home of the Lamoni Food Pantry. Decatur County, where the food pantry is located, is the poorest county in the state of Iowa with about 20% of its residents living in poverty. Across the United States 15.4% of rural households are food-insecure.
The food pantry was begun by the Ministerial Alliance. Over the years the need for a larger facility has grown. Now it is housed in the United Methodist Church basement so that families have room to choose the foods they need rather than having volunteers pick foods for them.
Matthew 25 grant monies, made possible with apportionment gifts from the United Methodist churches of Iowa, helped to buy paint, shelving, two freezers, and a refrigerator when the pantry moved to its current location. The freezers and refrigerator facilitated the ability to give out meats and occasionally items such as milk, cheese, eggs, and orange juice. The South Central District has continued to support this ministry with Matthew 25 funds.
The Lamoni Food Pantry also works with the school system to distribute sacks of food on the weekends to students and their families. Lice kits and a winter glove program are additional extensions of their ministries.