Ruby's Pantry is celebrating its second year providing groceries to the community

Ruby's Pantry is a pop-up pantry that rolls around once a month in Austin helping out people in need of food.

Posted: Sep 17, 2020 8:07 PM

AUSTIN, Minn. - Ruby's Pantry is a non-profit that provides pop-up pantries in 80 different locations across Minnesota and Wisconsin, with one being in Albert Lea and Austin. Volunteers with the one in Austin just completed their first year and have officially kicked off their second one.

The food share service is offered the third Thursday of every month. Like many other things, the coronavirus pandemic caused volunteers to switch gears a little bit and offer a drive-thru pick up option at the Mower County Fairgrounds. All the food that's distributed out to the community is donated from different corporations.

At the beginning of the pandemic, volunteers noticed how great of a need there was for groceries so they knew they would have to keep the pantry running. The idea was started through Grace Lutheran Church. "Of course, churches and other service organizations realized the need that exists for all sorts of services in any community," explained the media coordinator of Ruby's Pantry, Bob Rosel. "This just seemed like a good way for our church and for the community to get involved. To pitch in a help where we could and it wasn't so much of a commitment that we had to do something every day, but we can certainly gather together with volunteers and some local businesses and provide a service once a month."

Anyone who needs food can bring exactly $20 cash and receive two baskets full of items. "We will load it into your car. All you have to do is drive up to the Mower County Fairgrounds, follow the instructions," explained Rosel. "We'll have some Mower County Emergency Management people to help direct traffic. You stay in your car, we load up the boxes, we put them in your vehicle and you drive away. It's really that simple."​

Ruby's Pantry will be back at the fairgrounds again in October​.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 142311

Reported Deaths: 2472
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin35484995
Ramsey14726372
Dakota10271139
Anoka9344155
Washington636273
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Scott360436
Olmsted340230
St. Louis325874
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Blue Earth21147
Carver18887
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Kandiyohi18215
Rice170210
Mower154518
Winona133619
Chisago11562
Crow Wing114322
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Lyon10306
Beltrami9618
Otter Tail9508
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Todd8967
Polk8364
Morrison8259
Steele8013
Itasca78817
Douglas7744
Nicollet77118
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Goodhue65111
Martin62618
Becker6214
McLeod6214
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Watonwan5824
Pine5770
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Hubbard4344
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Meeker3593
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Aitkin1982
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Lake1330
Mahnomen1292
Grant1054
Red Lake822
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Cook190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 122218

Reported Deaths: 1691
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk19732289
Woodbury743799
Linn6038133
Johnson602431
Black Hawk5974102
Dubuque550658
Scott487343
Story411118
Dallas357347
Pottawattamie337845
Sioux254417
Buena Vista230212
Marshall212236
Webster196015
Plymouth172831
Wapello158962
Clinton156228
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Des Moines151611
Cerro Gordo150227
Crawford138714
Warren13137
Carroll120413
Jasper119734
Henry11245
Marion106811
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Tama100538
Delaware82713
Dickinson7939
Wright7591
Boone7509
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Bremer7199
Harrison69716
Washington69311
Jackson6853
Benton6482
Lyon5688
Clay5574
Louisa54415
Winnebago52119
Cedar5087
Winneshiek5079
Hardin5017
Jones5004
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Clayton4923
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Hamilton4825
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Emmet45321
Iowa4429
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Mills4233
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Page4200
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Sac4114
Butler4083
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Franklin39518
Madison3743
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Hancock3676
Humboldt3593
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