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Kalona decides to pause pop-up food pantries

KALONA — The City of Kalona has decided to temporarily stop the pop-up food pantry and senior food bags.

The unanimous decision was reached during a City Council meeting Monday. The emergency food boxes and hot meal deliveries will continue.

City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said since April the city has done 10 pop-up food pantry events and given away 2,300 boxes.

The senior meal program has given away 1,136 meals. The senior bag program delivered 487 bags.

“It’s been a successful program, and people have enjoyed it,” Schlabaugh said of the meal program.

Now that the weather has warmed up, he said it is a good time to pause the pop-up food pantry and food bag deliveries. He said in the future there is a program with HACAP where prepared bags are delivered and distributed.

He added this makes it so city space is not filled with pallets of food.

The hot meal deliveries will continue to be Tuesday through Thursday for this week and next. Through the rest of March and April, the deliveries will be only on Wednesday.

The meals will now have a charge, Schlabaugh said.

It will be a sliding scale charge, where people are given income parameters.

“I’m on a fixed income and I make this much a month, that would put me on five dollars a month,” Schlabaugh said as an example.

He said there are a few pallets of non-perishables left that will be used for emergency food kits.