AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) – The effort began in Wisconsin in 2003 and has spread here to Minnesota. Albert Lea has had one for years and now Austin is welcoming its new Ruby’s Pantry.
Today’s first event was a success with around 400 people stopping by.
Ruby’s Pantry has a variety of food and personal items that can be picked up at Grace Lutheran Church.
What is unique about this pantry, there is no income or resident requirement. They just ask for a $20 donation.
The one in Austin will be held on the third Thursday of each month.
More than 40 volunteers help the distribution line run smoothly. After all the preparation, they are happy to see the impact their hard work is making.
“It’s satisfying. Very satisfying. Of course the whole idea is neighbor helping neighbor and helping people stretch their budget a little bit,” said coordinator Bob Rosel. To see that we are doing that and that people are responding is very satisfying. It does make you feel good.”
People brought tote bags and laundry baskets to pick up an assortment of groceries including meat, bread, eggs, snacks and more.
18 dollars of the 20 dollar donation goes towards running the pantry and the other 2 is set aside in a benevolence fund for those in the Austin community. The pantry is always looking for volunteers.