COUNCIL BLUFFS — The Micah House family shelter has purchased a new cargo van with the help of a $16,000 matching grant from the Iowa West Foundation.
Matching funds came from community donations. In addition, the Madison Avenue Hy-Vee and Revolution Wraps donated a graphic van wrap, said Lisa Emken, assistant director of the Micah House. Hy-Vee donated $2,500 for supplies, and Revolution Wraps donated its handiwork.
The vehicle, bought at Lake Manawa Nissan earlier this year, is used to pick up food donations and provide support to area food pantries, Emken said.
“This van picks up food five days a week from places in the county,” she said. “It goes to about 25 places on each of those days.”
The van, driven by volunteers, is a crucial link between community food donations and the 34,000 meals MICAH House serves each year to its clients, she said.
The van was put to use Wednesday, when M&J's Grocery in Griswold, which is closing, called and offered to donate its leftover food to Micah House, Emken said.
“It's one of the largest bulk donations of food we've ever received,” she said. “Because of the van and support from staff and volunteers, we were able to pick it up after hours and have it in our freezer by 10 o'clock last night.”
The shelter's previous van had hail damage and was badly worn from picking up hundreds of thousands of pounds of food each year, Emken said.
“It was just worn out,” she said.