The Underwood Community Cupboard will be opening its doors with its first food distribution on October 22 from 10 am-12 pm. The community cupboard is a food and household goods pantry that will be serving the food needs of community members in Underwood and the surrounding area. Underwood has been served by the Great Plains Mobile Food Bank for the past 3 years. The mobile food pantry was meant to serve as a temporary service for communities that did not have a food pantry.
In order to continue to serve food and household good needs of the area, a group was formed to start a community food pantry. There were a few things the group needed to be able to start a food pantry. They needed a place to house the food pantry, a 501c (3) non-profit designation, and food and monetary donations to operate the pantry.
The Community Cupboard of Underwood (CCU) was formed and just recently got its official paperwork from the Secretary of State stating they are an official 501 c(3). A local community member had a building that was curently vacant and offered the use of the building to the food pantry rent free. The CCU had some work to do to get the building cleaned up and ready to house the food pantry. Carpet needed to be removed, ceiling tiles needed to be repainted, and a bathroom needed to be refinished. There was electrical wiring and heating work that was needed. In addition, the floor in the building had to be competely repainted.
In order to make all the improvements to the building, the CCU needed to raise money. The food pantry received monetary donations from local businesses and community residents. They also applied for and received a grant from UAEDC's Main Street Program to help update the exterior of the building as well as a grant from the Sale & Use Tax fund. Great River Energy has also been a big supporter of the food paantry through a grant and will also be holding an employee food drive that will help to stock the shelves. In addition to the monetary donations, there have been many great volunteers that have helped wih carpet removal, clean up and painting. The CCU held several community wide help days, Augustana Church and the Lutheran Youth organization also helped with the clean up of the building. There were several people that were giving of their time and professional skills including K&L Services painting celiing tiles, Mark Wood painting the floor and hauling and installing ceiling tiles, Denise Joahnnes helping with electrical, Levey Heating & Plumbing for a generous discunt on services and area businesses for the use of their dumpsters as the building was cleaned out.
This has been a great project that the community has come together to support. Without help from different grant programs and the generosity of the people and businesses in the Underwood community this would not have been possible. The UAEDC was happy to be able to contribute to this project. From an economic development lense, the Underwood Community Cupboard is utilizing a Main Street building that has been empty and is also something that adds value to the community. This is one more reason Underwood is a great community to live in and be a part of.
The Underwood Community Cupboard is located at 208 Lincoln Ave. Food will be distributed on the 1st Thursday, 4-6 pm and the 3rd Saturday, 10 am-12 pm each month. The CCU is acepting donations of canned/boxed food, cleaning and personla care items. Donations can be dropped off at the Underwood Public Library. To contact the CCU email Underwoodfoodpantry@gmail.com or call (701) 595-0320. To keep up to date with the latest information on the food pantry, like their page on Facebook-Community Cupboard of Underwood.