The Perry Area Food Pantry has signed a three-year contract for new home at the back of the Rowley Masonic Community. The space was previously an apartment, nicknamed “the annex,” and doubles in floor space for the Food Pantry.

“We will have more shelving, I think we’ll be able to increase the amount of misc. food items because our shelves are all labeled because we have a certain set of commodities that we always have on hand,” said Site Manager of Perry Area Food Pantry, Lou Hoger. “We receive those either [by] donations from the Food Bank of Iowa or purchases of Hy-Vee or Fairway, but we keep those items stocked.”

“The Food Bank of Iowa will have a lot of other items available for us that we really haven’t had the space to have those out.”

The new space will also make it possible to bring in more refrigerator space for frozen foods.

Volunteers anticipate Tuesday, Dec. 19 to be opening day at the Pantry’s new facility. Volunteers will begin taking items to the new location the week before the opening date.

Previously, the Perry Area Food Pantry was located in Crossroads Church in the section where New Opportunities was housed. After New Opportunities announced their move, the Food Pantry began searching for a new facility to stay in.

Hoger connected with John Powell, Rowley Masonic Community Secretary-Treasurer, and the Food Pantry was able to receive the donated space.

The Pantry will now be open from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, as well as 1-3:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

Applications to take part in the Food Pantry will be at New Opportunities, Hoger said.

“Clients of the Food Pantry will continue to go to New Opportunities and there receive a voucher to come to the Food Pantry,” Hoger said. “They will enter through the Willis Ave. entrance and that’s the sign we’ll have out there on the highway.”

Volunteers from the community are helping in the move, Hoger says.

“What Rowley is doing is really a gift to the community,” said Food Pantry volunteer, Lois Hoger. “It’s a gift and we’re recycling the facility.”

Funds will continue to go towards the addition of food for community members. Supplies at the Food Pantry include breads baked in the Hy-Vee bakery, canned goods, toiletries, and more.

Volunteers are still needed for the Food Pantry; to be a volunteer, Hoger says brief Civil Rights training is required, to which he will conduct. For those interested in joining the Food Pantry, contact Lou Hoger at 515-570-2975.