Officials with Ruby’s Pantry in Austin announced this week that they will be making some changes for their December 17th pantry at the Mower County Fairgrounds.
Bob Rosel, Media Coordinator with Ruby’s Pantry in Austin stated that because of early sunset times during winter, they will be starting their distributions at 4:00 p.m. on December 17th, one hour earlier than in the past. Rosel stated that the 4:00 PM start time will allow more daylight during the distribution, making the process safer.
He went on to say that they will also be trying a double line of vehicles for the actual distribution drive-by. Rosel stated that they hope this will make the distribution time faster. Rosel added that the changes are trial runs and could be altered for future Ruby’s.
The other details about the drive-by remain the same. Guests will arrive off 4th Ave SW and begin lining up their vehicles in the Mower County Fairgrounds. There is a maximum of two bundles per vehicle. This could change during the distribution depending on availability of food. The donation amount remains $20 for each bundle. Ruby’s asks that guests have exact cash amounts, and guests will remain in their cars and are asked to put empty containers in their trunk for the food items to be placed in. Ruby’s is requesting that everyone who attends please follow volunteer instructions for a smooth and safe operation.
Rosel indicated that volunteers are the foundation of the monthly Ruby’s Pantries, and he added that they can always use more. During this difficult year the need for services like Ruby’s Pantry has increased, and they ask volunteers to come by the fairgrounds beginning around 2:30 p.m. on the afternoon of December 17th. Come when you can and stay as long as you wish. Most tasks for their drive-by distributions are performed outside and masks are required. Rosel stated that Ruby’s is doing this to make it as safe as possible. For people who prefer to be out of the weather, they have a few things that will be done inside the heated beer garden building, but with the doors open for ventilation. Volunteers should enter at the 8th Ave SW (South) gate to avoid confusion with guests.
Rosel noted that the pandemic has forced families to stretch their limited resources further than in the past and Ruby’s Pantry helps them do that. He went on to state that Ruby’s knows the need is increasing so volunteer if you can. If anyone has questions they should call Grace Lutheran Church in Austin at 433-3445. Ruby’s Pantry Austin has a Facebook page for those interested in keeping up with their distributions and
any changes they make.