The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

September 3, 2013

For a few dollars more


"I've had to use a food pantry," she said.

One community service agency in a nearby county didn't want their pantry to join with the food bank in receiving food. They fear they'll be stuck with a bunch of bulk food items no one wants.

"I was able to explain to her the stuff I picked up at the food pantry in Albia and how it helped me," Morrow said.

She's also not as judgmental as some other volunteers might be. But there are limits. A family that seems to have money for cigarettes or cable television but can't buy shoes for their child seems pretty hard to defend, she said. Abbott acknowledged that caring people still get frustrated when they hear about the rare individual who takes advantage of the system or wastes money they could have spent on groceries.

"There are people who make enough but they blow it at the casino. Still, the kids shouldn't have to suffer. The kids need food."

Most of the people who use a food pantry are genuinely deserving of help, he emphasized. Morrow referred to them as "the working poor," which she says encompasses a large number of everyday Americans.

"These are the people who may make enough money, but they run into trouble," Abbott said, listing sudden medical expenses or car repair bills as being enough to drain any savings they had, as well as draining grocery money for some families.

September is Hunger Action Month, Abbott said, explaining that the Iowa Food Bank Association and Gov. Terry Branstad are working to inspire Iowans "to take action to help … people who are food insecure." This is a good time to tell their story, Abbott said, using activities like the card scanning at the grocery store.

"We need to build awareness of why we're here, what we do and why we do it," he said.

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark

Text Only
Southeast Iowa
  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 24, 2014

  • Mammoth photo 2 Researchers find mammoth ankle

    OSKALOOSA — Researchers at the mammoth dig site in rural Mahaska County recently found an articulated mammoth ankle — a very interesting find.“It tells us something we never knew before,” said Dave Brenzel of the Indian Creek Nature Center. The mammo

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Van Buren says bye-bye to Waste Management KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management has been charging the Van Buren Community School District an average of nearly $1,600 a month to remove waste and recycled materials from the Douds and Keosauqua centers. Now faced with a bidding process, Waste Management

    July 23, 2014

  • MINE logo.jpg Two arrested on drug charges

    The Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement drug task force executed a search warrant in Knoxville last night. A man and a woman were arrested. 

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Propane suppliers: buy ahead to avoid price spikes DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — State officials and propane suppliers are advising consumers to fill their tanks before cold weather arrives because prices could climb again this winter. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports ( ) prices will

    July 23, 2014

  • Military Retiree Appreciation Day Aug. 28 near Pella A military Retiree Appreciation Day will be held Thursday, Aug. 28 at the Prairie Meadows Race Track and Casino in Altoona, Iowa. Retirees from all branches of the armed forces and their family members are eligible to attend. The event will run from

    July 23, 2014

  • Report: Iowa third among states in child well-being DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new national report on the well-being of children released Tuesday ranked Iowa third in the nation, up four places from last year, the best showing for the state in 25 years. The Kids Counts report from the Annie E. Casey Fo

    July 23, 2014

  • Report: Iowa third among states in child well-being DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new national report on the well-being of children ranks Iowa third in the nation, up four places from last year. The Kids Counts report released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Iowa ranks first among all states

    July 22, 2014

  • MHP designated a Blue Zones Worksite OSKALOOSA — Blue Zones Project Oskaloosa today announced Mahaska Health Partnership has been named a designated Blue Zones Worksite. Mahaska Health Partnership was designated after completing the necessary items in the Blue Zones Project worksite ple

    July 22, 2014

  • 072214 Medics Skills Photo Local medics advance skills

    Six EMTs from Mercy Medical Center have completed the work necessary to become paramedics.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

AP National