AMES, Iowa- For Food At First in Ames, the $20,000 Wal-Mart grant will mean the addition of more cooler space. Food at First serves with a free grocery program three times a week, and serves meals daily at the First United Methodist Church.
“Food that would be thrown away, but that is still usable, and we turn that food into a daily meal,” said Chris Martin who is the volunteer director of Food at First. “The food that we don’t use in the meal program, we distribute in the form of groceries to anyone who wants to get groceries.”
The 6X10 foot cooler serves all the grocery give-aways, as well as the daily meal. Program Director Chris Martin said the money will help them reorganize their space, so they can have more cooler space.
“It’s just gonna enable us to up our storage capacity, so that when we get calls, about random donations, we can say yes to those,” said Martin. Martin said they distribute around 250 tons of food a year. Food at First gets large amounts of donations from Wal-Mart, Sams Club, as well as Aldi, Hy-Vee, Fareway, and Wheatsfield.
Even in a university town like Ames, there is still a need. “Hunger is everywhere,” said Martin. “We have it pretty good in Ames, but there are still a lot of people in need here.”
Food at First got 2337 votes in the Wal-Mart competition. “That means that 2337 times people had to sit there and make a conscious decision to click that button,” said Martin.