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Trinity Christian Reformed Church in Ames, Iowa, has expanded the availability of free food for local people in need. Every Saturday, members of the congregation come to serve at the church as part of Food at First, a group started by the First United Methodist Church in Ames.

Naomi Friend is a member of Trinity CRC and serves on the Food at First board of directors. She said that one of the reasons why Trinity became a second food pantry is its location on the edge of town. “We know that transportation is a major problem to those who are poor in our suburban-style cities that spread out for miles, and the cheapest housing is far away from the middle of town where the [first] pantry is located.”

The food pantry at Trinity served more than 800 people in the past year. The pantry offers produce such as fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Some of the food is grown in the Trinity garden and some comes from area farmers and grocery stores. Local stores also donate items that are damaged but still of good quality, such as dented canned goods. Bakeries donate bread, and meat is also available.

Pastor Kelly Vander Woude said he hopes that the food pantry could “be put out of business.” But until that happens, he said, the church will will continue to love and serve the neighbors. The only question they ask people is, “How many people are you shopping for?”

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