With the holiday season approaching some Kirkwood students, faculty and staff might be facing hardship due to the disruption of COVID or other life events and may need help making ends meet.
On the other hand, those members of the Kirkwood family who have everything they need might be looking for opportunities to give back to help their neighbors, coworkers, classmates and friends.
The following list details various local organizations which provide resources from food to warm clothing to childcare to help those in need and which also accept physical and monetary donations and may need volunteers.
Pet Food Pantry
The Cedar Valley Humane Society’s Pet Food Pantry provides quality pet food for pet owners who are struggling to feed their pets due to financial difficulty. Pet food is available at the Cedar Valley Humane Society for those in need Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m.
The Humane Society also has mobile food pantry locations. For more details visit https://www.cvhumane.org/pet-food-pantry.
College Food Pantry
Kirkwood has established a Student Food Pantry on both the main campus and Iowa City Campus. All currently enrolled Kirkwood students are invited to receive grocery items from the Student Food Pantry once-a-week at no cost. On the main campus the food pantry is in 2098 Cedar Hall and open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On the Iowa City Campus check in at the Welcome Desk Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 5 p.m. and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Toys for Tots
The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
The Linn County Toys for Tots drive is a collaborative effort between The Salvation Army and hundreds of volunteers collecting, sorting and distributing toys to deserving families.
For more information call 319-364-9131 or drop off donations at one of the many collection boxes at local businesses.
Visit https://www.toysfortots.org/ for more information.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army provides an array of services in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. They offer financial aid for rent and utility bills, Christmas assistance with toys and gifts, programs to help people struggling with poverty and they dispense school supplies. The Salvation Army also maintains a food pantry, serves free hot meals Monday through Friday at their Cedar Rapids location and on Tuesday, Dec. 21, will host a to-go version of their annual Community Christmas Meal from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Visit https://centralusa.salvationarmy.org/cedarrapids/cure-hunger/ for more information
Hawkeye Area Community Action Plan
HACAP is a community action agency serving nine counties in Eastern Iowa. The HACAP Food Reservoir distributes over 10 million meals annually through partner organizations in seven counties. Other HACAP services include financial help with utility bills, financial literacy training, programs to assist veterans and nutritious food and health care for expecting or new mothers, infants and children.
Local food banks and food pantries
There are many food banks in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area. The following links provide lists of the locations and additional links to the pages of specific organizations.
Linn County – https://www.foodpantries.org/co/ia-linn
Johnson County – https://www.foodpantries.org/co/ia-johnson
For those facing housing issues the following links provide lists of local homeless shelters and links to the pages of specific organizations.
Cedar Rapids – https://www.shelterlistings.org/city/cedar_rapids-ia.html
Iowa City – https://www.shelterlistings.org/city/iowa_city-ia.html
Olivet Neighborhood Mission
Located in Cedar Rapids, Olivet Neighborhood Mission offers a wide variety of free services listed below.
Clothing Closet – Free and low-cost clothing, personal items and household goods
Food Assistance – Food pantry and kitchen pantry offering free groceries, including fresh foods and premade meals
Head Start Program – Free preschool program to help children get ready for kindergarten
Parish Nurse – Free medical care from a skilled registered nurse (RN)
Youth After-School & Summer Programs – Free enrichment activities where children can learn and have fun in a safe, supervised environment
COVID vaccinations and boosters for adults and children
Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For more information call 319-364-7946. Visit https://www.olivetmission.org/.
Alliant Energy Hometown Care Energy
The Hometown Care Energy Fund provides free, confidential financial help for Alliant customers who are elderly, disabled or just trying to make ends meet, including: households that meet income guidelines, individuals over age 60 and on a fixed income with no alternative source of funds, individuals who are permanently or temporarily disabled, or medically disabled, and unable to be economically self-sufficient and special hardship cases not limited to income, age or eligibility.