On Tuesday, Jan. 16, the Rexburg Mobile Food Pantry held a food distribution event. Volunteers, ages 8-65, worked outside in 5-degree weather for 5 hours.
The food pantry started more than nine years ago.
“It started as a way to put a band–aid over a food insecurity problem, ” said Judy Powell, a member of the Rexburg Mobile Food Pantry.
Despite facing above average economic challenges, Rexburg has a resilient community. According to Data USA, 33.3% of the population lives below the poverty line, more than double the national average of 12.6%.
Non-profit organizations exist in Idaho to help those in need. Students, singles, veterans and families are encouraged to use these resources in time of need.
The Idaho Food Bank provided and distributed the food that came from warehouses in Pocatello. Idaho Food Bank collaborates with Feeding America, a national non-profit organization, to support food banks nationwide.
The Rexburg Mobile Food Pantry is a food pantry run by volunteers.
“The community has been wonderful in stepping forward in helping us give the things we need,” Powell said.
A popular time of year to donate to the Rexburg Mobile Food Pantry is the week of Thanksgiving on Giving Tuesday, and these donations are typically made online.
“We try to collect $500 to $1,000 dollars to just buy some items that we are missing,” Powell said.
For those unable to donate monetarily, the food pantry also welcomes donations of time through volunteering.
“I have volunteered for two years now,” said Natalie O’Connor, Rexburg native and BYU-Idaho student. “I get a sense of happiness and joy in helping others and being able to provide what may not be available to a lot of people, that’s something we might take up for granted until we live on our own… Even though it’s cold and everything else, it’s worth the sacrifice.”
The Rexburg Mobile Food Pantry is looking for volunteers to help continue serving the community. Individuals, families and youth groups are encouraged to volunteer.
“I have been off and on volunteering at the Rexburg Mobile Food Pantry for two years now,” said Abrianna Rice, a BYU-I alumna. “I have ended up falling in love with it. People are here simply because they want to, not because they need to. I absolutely love that about Rexburg Mobile Food Pantry.”
The food pantry distributes food every third Tuesday from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 4915 South Yellowstone Highway in Thornton. For more information, visit Rexburg Mobile Food Pantry on Facebook.