MASON CITY, Iowa - The Hawkeye Harvest Food Bank provides food for many families in need in North Iowa. But with the rise of coronavirus, they're reevaluating how to make the food available.
On Monday, the bank was closed for the day as the staff looked at their operational procedures during this time of uncertainty. Now, they've reopened, but operating a tad differently; instead of having clients come inside, volunteers are gathering up prepackaged boxes of food that will be handed out during normal hours.
Volunteer David Dunn says the move to prepacked boxes reminds him of when he first started volunteering at the food bank.
"When I started volunteering, we would hand out a preselected food box, and give them the box. When we moved here, we were fortunate enough to have the room to go to client choice, where it's more of a grocery store atmosphere."
The boxes are packed full of the essentials, and then some.
"Three items of protein - peanut butter, tuna, canned chicken. Two canned vegetables, two canned fruits, rice, instant potatoes, stuffing, two cans of beans. Three different kinds of cereals, tomato products, toilet paper and a bar of soap."
If you have food donations, Hawkeye Harvest is asking donors to hang on to them for now.
In addition, the Channel One Food Bank in Rochester is also handing out prepackaged boxes of food, though a limited number of clients will be able to come inside and select some perishable items.