Community

CommUnity's Project Holiday will distribute holiday meals to more than over 1,200 families in Johnson County

Steve Schuette of Iowa City stacks canned goods at the Community Crisis Services and Food Bank in Iowa City on Monday, N
Steve Schuette of Iowa City stacks canned goods at the Community Crisis Services and Food Bank in Iowa City on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — More than 1,200 families have signed up to receive a holiday meal through CommUnity’s Project Holiday, and that number is expected to grow.

The number of families signed up for the holiday meal sits at 1,242, said Nicole Kilmer, marketing and communications manager for CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank. Although registration has closed, CommUnity still is signing up families, Kilmer said.

“We expect that number to increase leading up to the distribution week,” she said. “And we also accept walk-ins the week of distribution.”

Now in its 33rd year, Project Holiday provides Johnson County families with a holiday dinner consisting of a choice of entree, sides, vegetables and other grocery items.

All Johnson County residents are eligible to receive a meal. Anyone who didn’t register already can show up at the Project Holiday distribution at 1045 Highway 6 East in Pepperwood Plaza between Dec. 14 and Dec. 19 to pick up a meal. Pop-up distributions also will take place in Coralville on Dec. 15 and North Liberty on Dec. 16.

“We expect there will be an even greater need for food as the holidays approach, and we want to make sure those families who have been through these stressful times have a good holiday,” Kilmer said in a statement.

“This is a great opportunity to come together as a community to help families that might otherwise not be able to celebrate.”

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Kilmer said CommUnity also is looking for volunteers to help stock shelves, greet clients or help at the bagging station Dec. 14-19 at the CommUnity Food Pantry, 1045 Highway 6 East.

Delivery drivers also are needed Dec. 15-19. at 1121 S. Gilbert Ct.

“Project Holiday is a great opportunity for families to come out and spend time volunteering together for a really good cause,” Julia Erickson, outreach and events manager, said in a statement.

“Since we’ve moved into the new space at Pepperwood Plaza, we’ve implemented numerous safety precautions and follow CDC guidelines that our regular volunteers and clients have told us help them feel safer. If you’re feeling healthy and want to give back to your community, sign up for a shift. We’d love to see you!”

Anyone interested in learning more about Project Holiday, volunteering or donating can visit builtbycommunity.org/project-holiday.

Comments: (319) 339-3155; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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