By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
BETTENDORF — Our Lady of Lourdes Parish sponsored its fourth mobile food pantry because the parish “cares for those who are less fortunate,” said Deacon John Weber.
The mobile food pantry, stationed in the parish parking lot Oct. 10, was an effort of the parish’s outreach committee and River Bend Foodbank in Davenport. Deacon Weber is the foodbank’s president.
The Lourdes group served around 120 families and volunteers came from all over the Quad-City area to help, said Belinda Mielenhauser of Americorps Vista at the foodbank. She noted that another mobile pantry was stationed in Moline, Illinois, and volunteers were packing backpacks with food items in Bettendorf that same day.
In general, River Bend Foodbank offers a mobile pantry once a month in its 22-county service area in Iowa and Illinois. “Twenty percent of children in our 22-county area are food insecure,” Mielenhauser said.
Deacon Weber said an anonymous donor paid for the food to fill the truck. Items distributed on Saturday included grape juice, a sweet, bread, dried cranberries, au gratin potatoes, granola bars, whole wheat spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, cranberry sauce, fresh carrots, onions and watermelon. “We are trying to add more fresh produce when we can,” Mielenhauser said.
Tracy Lux, advisor for the Pleasant Valley High School Student Council, said she came to help feed those who are deprived of food. “This is one day I can help make a difference.”
Liam Robins, a junior at Assumption High School in Davenport, said he wanted to help the community. A member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport, he came with his friends. They were not doing the volunteer work for service hours. They just wanted to help out.