MASON CITY, Iowa - The pandemic has exacerbated the need to feed those facing hunger. And that need has grown exponentially at the Community Kitchen of North Iowa.
Since March, eating inside has been closed off, with meals being served to go 6 days a week and 4 nights a week. Each day, an average of about 150 meals are served during lunchtime.
Executive Director Amanda Ragan says an increasing number of families are in need.
"Moms will come and carry meals home. We have a lot of working people that come to the kitchen, and I haven't noticed that as much prior to this."
Though the kitchen is a popular meeting and social spot, Ragan says the decision to allow dining-in won't be made until it's safer to do so.
"Right now, as long as we're getting the meals to the people that need them, that's the most important thing that we see as our mission."
While the kitchen typically sees an increase in people getting meals toward the end of the month, Ragan says it's been consistent throughout the pandemic.
During this time, local companies and donors have stepped up to support the kitchen, whether by food or to-go boxes. If you would like to donate, contact the kitchen at 641-424-2316.