Established in the Fall of 2013, the goal of Luther’s Cafeteria to Community Program is to ensure that good food makes it into the bellies of those who need it. Through this program student volunteers work in close collaboration with dining services staff to package food into quart sized containers that will be labeled and delivered to the First Lutheran Church Food Pantry twice weekly. We also deliver once a month to the Decorah Lutheran Food Pantry. Donations include soup, main entrees, homemade pasta sauce, vegetables, salads and more.
Since the project’s start in November 2013, over 7,260 pounds of food have been packaged into over 4,360 containers. Volunteers have spent over 204 hours packaging the food. In February 2014 alone, over 1,300 pounds of food were distributed to community members in need.
We’ve had a very successful 2013-2014 year, with many students, student groups, Decorah Community members, and faculty volunteering and reaching out to the community! The First Lutheran Food Pantry and Decorah Lutheran Pantry have expressed much gratitude for the program and have commented that their clients really appreciate the meals.
We’re really looking forward to next year and are hoping to begin implementing reusable containers in the program thanks to a generous grant the Cafeteria to Community Program received in 2014.
In order for this program to run smoothly, we need the help of many volunteers – students, faculty, staff, Decorah community members etc. Fall packaging shifts will take place twice per week (Mondays and Wednesdays) at 7:00pm and each shift will require 3-4 individuals. Feel free to sign up as an individual, or on behalf of a group. You are encouraged to sign up for multiple shifts if your schedule allows, but we ask that you complete separate forms for each shift you hope to work. To sign up for a volunteer shift, fill out the form here.