Ruby’s Pantry announces changes

Published 6:26 pm Friday, November 12, 2021

Starting with its Nov. 18 distribution, Ruby’s Pantry will be asking for a $22 per bundle  donation, which is an increase of $2.

The increase is to help with increasing transportation and storage costs. All Ruby’s Pantry sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa will make this change beginning in  November, including Austin, Albert Lea, Mason City, Rochester and Zumbrota.

The pandemic has presented some challenges to distributions from lack of volunteers to  increased costs. Ruby’s Pantry does not buy the food it distributes, with the items donated by companies and other commercial entities for Ruby’s stored until they can be  distributed through monthly food share pop-up pantries.

Ruby’s sends trucks across the  country to pick up the donated items and then stores them in North Branch, Minnesota. All this transporting and storage has become increasingly  expensive since the pandemic began, forcing Ruby’s to ask for the increase.

The Board of Directors of Ruby’s Pantry kept the increases to a minimum to help struggling  families, with a hope that prices will stabilize. Exact change is requested to help keep the line moving with a minimum of delays.

Another change at some of Austin’s distributions has been the return to one line of cars instead  of two. This change is made on the day of the distribution depending on how many volunteers  show up. If enough people come to help they can safely run two lines.

Ruby’s Pantry is always in need of more volunteers. If you  have questions about volunteering for Ruby’s Pantry call Grace Lutheran Church at 433-3445.

The Ruby’s Pantry Austin distributions remain a drive-by with a two bundle per vehicle limit. The  distribution begins at 4 p.m. and will continue until 5:30 p.m. or until they run out of items. It is held every third Thursday of the month at the Mower County Fairgrounds.