Hy-Vee supports community with donations of food and masks

Bob Keig and Amanda Buenemann donating 3,872 oranges to Pandemic Pantry, which operated alongside Hy-Vee's food drive fundraiser.

MUSCATINE, Iowa–With food insecurity on the rise, Hy-Vee of Muscatine, in conjunction with stores across the Midwest, worked to raise $1 million to donate to area food banks. In mid May, Hy-Vee met its goal, which helped to provide much needed food right here in Muscatine County. As Hy-Vee Today host Tony Tone put it: “Given the current situation, Hy-Vee knew we needed to respond and support our communities in a way that we never have before. Partnering with local food banks and providing supplies to help reduce hunger insecurity is key to rebuilding.”

Locally, Hy-Vee of Muscatine and Hy-Vee Mainstreet raised $712.24, which they donated to Riverbend Food Bank. Based in the Quad Cities, Riverbend Food Bank partners with food pantries across Illinois and Iowa to provide them with food, including Muscatine Center for Social Action, the Salvation Army of Muscatine County, Fruitland’s Lighthouse Food Pantry, the West Liberty Voluntary Action Center Food Pantry, the Durant/Wilton Food Pantry, and Wilton’s Heartland Fellowship Church’s food pantry. Riverbend Food Bank also works with Muscatine Community School District to offer a twice monthly mobile food pantry.

When Hy-Vee announced that its stores collectively met their $1 million target, Tony Tone shared his gladness, and the pride that everyone at the store felt about supporting their community: “The funds we’re raising help provide supplies to individuals and families across eastern Iowa and western Illinois. That feeling of making a true difference is truly priceless.”

To continue helping the community navigate the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hy-Vee also gave away more than 500 face masks on Tuesday, May 26. Originally donated by the Iowa Department of Public Health in partnership with Hanes, Hy-Vee of Muscatine Store Director Matt Schweizer said the store hoped the giveaway could help people in need of masks and without easy access to them to get high quality ones. “We just wanted to make sure our customers had masks, especially if they don’t have the means to get one,” he explained.

Schweizer reported the masks proved quite popular, and that the store had given out their entire supply within four hours. Reflecting on the giveaway, Schweizer valued the opportunity to get to provide for many people throughout the community. “It feels good to be part of the community and to continue to help people get through this crisis, as we have for the past few months, he added.”