WAUKEE, Iowa -- Waukee Christian Services is unveiling a remodeled food pantry Tuesday. Many are wondering why an affluent suburb like Waukee needs a food pantry. According to Data U.S.A, the poverty rate in Waukee is lower than the national average, but the Executive Director of Waukee Christian Services said you never really know what hunger looks like.
“We are comfortable in our neighborhoods most likely. But I don’t think we know what’s going on in our neighbor’s house,” Melissa Stimple said. “We’re not all wearing signs that says 'behind on my rent' or 'when I went to the grocery store the only thing I could afford was the ramen noodle.'”
Stimple said many people move to the area for the benefits that the suburb offers such as great education. However, many also don’t have the means to keep up with the cost of living. So Waukee Christian Services want to do their part in assisting the community, and the need is there. Stimple said the purpose of the remodel was to better serve their growing number of clients. Just last month they broke a record by serving 269 households in October alone.
“It really became apparent that it was time to rearrange the space that we do have, to make it more efficient and better for our clients,” Stimple said.
So they rearranged the grocery area, turned old conference rooms to office space and made the waiting area more private for their clients. The food pantry is only a fraction of Waukee Christian Services. They also have a community garden on location, a fresh produce stand they take around Dallas County and they have dreams of having mobile food pantries to serve food desserts all around central Iowa. Stimple says hunger never rests, so neither will they.
“We are here to serve and make sure we are doing our part to serve our neighbors in need,” Stimple said.
The remodel reveal of Waukee Christian Services is Tuesday from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m.