The Ottumwa Courier

October 15, 2012

SHARE Iowa: Helping families for 20 years

By DUANE NOLLEN
Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Volunteers gathered at the SHARE Iowa building Saturday morning to assemble food baskets for needy families around the Midwest — something the organization has done for 20 years.

SHARE is a non-profit organization that has served communities since 1992. The organization sells food at a discount to families and in return those people do volunteer work in their communities.

The Oskaloosa SHARE Iowa Director Becky Newman said the local SHARE office works with Fareway and Hy-Vee to purchase food at a discount to their clients.

Forty-one volunteers from Oskaloosa and other southeast Iowa communities and Cedar Rapids gathered at the SHARE office at 1102 S. Seventh St. Saturday to assemble food packages.

“We’re putting together our traditional baking package,” Newman said. “We do it every September and October.”

The food package included items such as flour, sugar, baking mix as well as a 3 pound bag of potatoes. The food packages cost $25 — about half of what it would be at a grocery store.

“We’re going to make 500 of them, which takes about one to one and a half hours.”

People can pick up their food packages at the SHARE host site. In Oskaloosa, that site is the Evangelical Church, 1513 S. Market St.

The food packages help build communities.

In exchange for the food, people do two hours of volunteer work in their communities each month.

“It can be as simple as helping your neighbor,” Newman said.

To learn how to participate in SHARE, call (800) 344-1107 or (641) 673-4000. SHARE Iowa also is on Facebook and it has two Web sites: http://www.shareiowa.com and http://www.shareiowa.org.