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It has been a rather challenging year for Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank and those we serve. Demand for our emergency food is strong and the needs continue to grow.

This past year we provided enough food to make 26,004 meals. Thanks to your support and the help of so many others we helped 10,205 families and a total of 21,667 people. Our clients were 46% male and 54% female. Also 40% of those we helped were under 17, 32% were 18-40, 23% were 41-64 and 5% were 65 or older.

Almost 1 million pounds of food, bread and sweets and non-food items(soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes and toothpaste) have been provided to clients.

We also distributed 11,678 half gallons of milk to families and individuals.

Ozzie Ohl

Ohl

Our emergency food provides enough food to make meals for four days. This has helped individuals and families from 64 north Iowa communities within 14 counties in North Iowa. 69.43% of those served are from Cerro Gordo County.

All who come to Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank must meet residency and income qualifications so they can receive enough food to make meals for about four days during their once monthly visit. They also receive non perishables such as toilet paper and other basic necessities.

Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank is a 100% volunteer organization. We have no paid staff. Our 142 volunteers gave 12,441 hours so your donation is used strictly for the purchase of food. A very small amount is used to maintain our facility at 122 South Adams. We are located one block west of Southbridge Mall. Donations can be dropped off between 9-11 a.m. Monday through Friday. Clients are helped from 1-4 Monday through Friday.

Your financial donations go a long way with Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank. We are able to purchase the majority of our food items for 16 cents a pound from the Food Bank of Iowa.

Our local grocery stores really help us, too. They provide substantial discounts on larger orders for items not available from the Food Bank of Iowa. We also do receive donated product from local grocery stores too.

Local and area food processors and distributors have also been generous with their gifts. Local and area gardeners and apple orchards were also huge donors this past summer and fall.

Numerous individuals, families, schools, churches, clubs, organizations, businesses and industries provide additional support with their food and cash donations.

In May we do Stamp Out Hunger with our local Post Office. That’s crucial in the summer months when donations are down and we get so many items not available from the Food Bank of Iowa.

Our June Milk Money project donations gets doubled because of the generosity of Corporate Farmer and Poet Bio-Refining, NutriQuest LLC, and two anonymous local families with their challenge matches. They matched dollar for dollar up to specified amounts.

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train is coming back Dec. 6 to perform and collect food and money for Hawkeye Harvest Food bank. Hope to see you there.

Even with all this support this year it is even more critical that those who gave last year do so again and for anyone who hasn't donated in the past I really encourage you to help us.

Your tax deductible donation helps us buy that food and those non perishables that we give out to those in need. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1565 Mason City, IA 50402

Your donation of $25 purchases enough food to help our clients make 40 meals. A $50 donation helps make 80 meals and a $100 donation will provide enough food to make 160 meals.

If you are unable to make a financial donation please donate food if you can. We need cream of mushroom, cream of chicken, chicken noodle soup, stuffing, toilet, paper, cereal, rice and diced tomatoes.

We also need more client helper volunteers from 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday to help clients. A short training is required.

People who can pick up items at local grocery stores in the Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank commercial van are also needed for morning pickups.

Our goal, for this holiday season is $35,000. That's an increase of $5,000 from last year. Please help us realize this season's goal.

Together if we all share our time, talent and treasurers we can all help meet the hunger needs of our neighbors when we give where we live.

You can learn more about Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank and what we do by visiting our Facebook page, too.

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Ozzie Ohl is a volunteer with Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank.

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