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Mason City community kitchen provides warm refuge in cold weather

Kitchen sees large crowd on snowy April Tuesday

Posted: Apr 3, 2018 9:03 PM
Updated: Apr 4, 2018 6:40 AM

MASON CITY, Iowa - Despite Tuesday's snowstorm, hunger doesn't take a day off.

About 60 people braved the elements and came to the Mason City community kitchen for a hot meal and a place to stay warm during the midday meal, while an extra 30 came down for the evening meal.

Robert Jones has been coming to the kitchen since he was 18. Now 37, he's currently in between jobs, and while he has some assistance, he tries to come over as much as he can.

"You get a good meal, it's free, you get to drink coffee, you get to come up for seconds and thirds, so that's pretty cool," Jones says.

Nate Olson has been coming to the kitchen for a few years. Besides eating, he gives back by volunteering for the kitchen, and loves coming down every time.

"The company with people and the good food," Olson says.

The kitchen is open during all kinds of weather, though they've only closed twice recently, once for water damage, and for the massive snowstorm two weeks ago.

With the high amount of people coming in the door, Jones encourages the public to come volunteer and help.

"If they have community service to do, like young kids that got in trouble, they come down here and do it. Usually they'll get their hours done, and they'll even give them a couple extra hours just for being here," Jones adds.

According to, 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger in Iowa, while 1 in 10 struggle in Minnesota.

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