Freezing for Food to Fill Salvation Army of Muscatine County Food Pantry
by Margaret Hurlbert
December 16, 2019

In order to stock their food pantry for the entire year, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County (SAMC) relies on donations from Freezing for Food. As long time Freezing for Food supporter Tony Loconsole “Tone” put it, “if it’s a success, they can sustain it, and a lot of people rely on the Salvation Army for Food every week.” In an unprecedented show of support, Freezing for Food brought in more than a thousand pounds more food than it ever has before.

To start off this year’s giving, Premier Jewelry and Loan delivered two full carts of prepacked food bags on Tuesday, December 10th. A staple of Freezing for Food, Hy-Vee filled bags with items specifically requested by the SAMC, making it easy for donors to give food that the SAMC truly needs.

In order to raise the money needed to purchase so many bags of food, Premier Jewelry and Loan has collected funds since the beginning of November. To encourage people to give, they entered all donors into a drawing for a flatscreen TV and Play Station Four.

The following day, First National Bank kept the giving going by dropping off a large number of food bags. Through a combination of a jeans day and other annual fundraisers, First National Bank got the money they needed to buy food to fight hunger. According to President and CEO Scott Ingstad, giving back to the community plays an important role in what the bank does. “Next year, in 2020, we will celebrate our 150th year of operation in Muscatine, and you can’t be here for that long without getting attached to the Community and the different groups that can take a leg up once in a while,” he said.

A spur of the moment assist, UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine came out on Wednesday to make sure visitors to the SAMC could get as much canned fruit as they needed. Following the donation, Anna Masengarb shared, “it’s important for us to show people that we care about them not only in the hospital setting but in the community setting as well.”

Shortly afterwards, Troy “Stinky” Phillpot brought Freezing for Food’s largest annual donation—the food he collected at his haunted house, Frightening for Food. Always working to break his record, Phillpot outdid himself this year. He revealed, “we don’t know the exact [weight], but we do know it’s over 6,500 pounds,” at least 1,000 more bounds that he brought in the year before.

To close out 2019’s major donations, TanTara Transportation took up Hy-Vee’s newest way to support Freezing for Food and donated a full pallet of cereal to the event.

Before Freezing for Food wrapped up for the season, Charla Schafer, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine, visited and thanked the community for their support of the event. Through everyone’s generosity, she believes the community has really helped the sixteen percent of county residents who struggle with food insecurity make their lives a little better and healthier.

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