Due to safety concerns that are ongoing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the May Ruby’s Pantry distribution will be at the Mower County Fairgrounds on Thursday May 21st. Like the Ruby’s in April, it will be a drive-thru with guests staying in their vehicles as Ruby’s volunteers place prepackaged bundles in their vehicles. Again this month, there will be no registration required and there will be no Express Track option available.
Bob Rosel, the Ruby’s Pantry Media Coordinator in Austin stated in a news release that in April, they distributed over 450 bundles of food and other items to residents of the area. He stated that each bundle includes two boxes full of donated items for a $20 cash donation. While most of their distributions have been at Grace Lutheran Church in Austin, Rosel stated that they have temporarily moved their pop-up pantries to the fairgrounds to accommodate the large number of guests in the quickest safest manner possible.
Rosel stated in the release that they ask all guests to clear out a space in the trunk or back seat of the vehicle for them to safely load their bundle. He indicated that they want guests to remain in their vehicle and keep the number of people in each vehicle to a minimum, preferably one or two persons. Each vehicle will be allowed only one bundle per vehicle. To help with transportation and storage costs, Rosel stated that they are asking for a $20 cash donation per bundle. Please bring exact cash. Prepaid credit codes will be honored. Guests should not bring their own containers as Ruby’s Pantry has boxes donated by International Paper that they will use.
Due to the number of guests using the pantry, Rosel indicated that traffic control can be an issue. They will be assisted by the Mower County Sheriff Department to maintain safe traffic, on 12th St SW in particular. As guests enter the fairgrounds at the South Gate on 8th Ave SW there will also be volunteers to help line cars up and keep the process moving smoothly. The distribution will begin at 5:00 PM and will go until the food is gone or they have no more guests.
Rosel stated in the news release that last month’s pantry went very well and he added that they are confident, with everyone’s cooperation, their May distribution will go equally well. If you have questions call Grace Lutheran Church at 433-3445.
Ruby’s Pantry is in need of volunteers for their drive-thru pantry. If you are willing to help, please call Grace Lutheran Church at 433-3445.