The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

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
Local News
  • 0731 OTT Aviation plane -T -M Flying free OTTUMWA — The financial obstacle may have been removed if your career goal starts with learning to fly. "We have it set up for three terms, about nine months," said pilot and chief flight instructor Darren Graham at Indian Hills Community College. "

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Supervisors discuss pipeline potential KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisors received preliminary, general information on a new pipeline being proposed to carry oil from North Dakota through Iowa, including Van Buren County, then crossing into Illinois. The proposed Bakken Pipeline wou

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairfield stabbing suspects' trials separated FAIRFIELD — The three people accused of dragging a man into a Fairfield apartment before robbing and stabbing him have had a judge grant their requests to separate their trials. Dawn Dunn, Dustin Roll and Brett Hedblade are each charged with willful

    July 30, 2014

  • Local business donates grain rescue tube KEOSAUQUA — Stockport Elevator, owned by Roquette America, donated a grain rescue tube to Birmingham and Stockport Fire Departments. A training session was conducted Monday, led by Dale Ekdahl, a representative of Outstate Data, LLC, the device’s man

    July 30, 2014

  • Where do my taxes go? OTTUMWA — Wapello County Board certified its tax levy. But what does that mean? Based on budgets submitted by various levying authors, the Wapello County Auditor prepares and certifies the levy rates for the county. Budgets for each levy are based on

    July 30, 2014

  • OCSD releases elementary supplies list

    OTTUMWA — For years, parents of the students in Ottumwa's elementary schools have had to check to make sure the school supplies list they grabbed was the right one for their school. No more.

    July 30, 2014

  • Reducing runoff at the local level AGENCY — Pollution isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you look out at a field of Iowa corn or soybeans, but there’s growing concern about what manages to get out of the fields and into the water. The same nutrients that benefit the crops c

    July 30, 2014

  • Supervisors wrestle with staffing woes KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Supervisor Chairman Bob Waugh says he wants county supervisors to help alleviate staffing problems within the county treasurer’s office. In May, supervisors opted not to replace a vacancy within the treasurer’s office. Va

    July 30, 2014

  • 0730 OTT Better Buildings -T -M Wildwood could be your home OTTUMWA — There was always one child per class who just adored school. If they went to Wildwood, they may soon be able to move in permanently. The Ottumwa board of education met Monday, where staff told them where the district stood as far as "facili

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • A changing roster -- for school board OTTUMWA — If the last time you saw your board of education was before Christmastime, the current school board might surprise you. Two members retired from the board: longtime educator Ron Oswalt stepped down, as did board president Carol Mitchell. Bo

    July 29, 2014

Photo reprints