Coronavirus in Iowa, live updates for March 22: Hy-Vee raising money to help food banks

Best Buy (Dreamstime/TNS)
Best Buy (Dreamstime/TNS)

6:34 p.m. Hy-Vee fundraising campaign helps food banks

Starting Monday, Hy-Vee is launching a fundraising campaign to help food banks across its eight-state market restock their shelves.

“When customers check out, they will be asked if they would like to donate $1 or more to assist local food banks. For every dollar raised, Hy-Vee will match it dollar for dollar, up to $500,000,” a news release from the grocer said. The goal is to raise $1 million.

Customers may also make a donation in a pre-set increment during their Hy-Vee Aisles Online purchase. All funds will then be collected a weekly basis and provided to local food banks every week.

“In today’s uncertain times, we want to keep our local food banks stocked with the essentials that individuals and families need,” Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman, chief executive officer and president said in a statement. “By partnering with our customers, our goal is to raise $1 million for our food bank partners so they can continue their operations throughout this crisis.”

Donations at the checkout will be accepted through April 30.

9:02 a.m.: Johnson County mayors urge people to stay home

Three mayors in Johnson County — Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague, Coralville Mayor John Lundell and North Liberty Mayor Terry Donahue — on Sunday jointly urged residents in the county to ”take all necessary precautions to stay healthy” in hopes of mitigating the crush on health care providers.

“The around-the-clock effort of the staff at our local hospitals is nothing short of heroic,” Lundell said in the statement. “It is absolutely imperative that the community do everything within our ability to assist the doctors, nurses, and support staff on the front line of this crisis.”

To that end, the mayors asked that county residents think twice about leaving home for now.

“Social distancing and staying in place is undoubtedly the number one thing that our residents can do to slow the spread and allow our health care professionals to effectively manage this crisis,” Teague said in the statement. “I strongly recommend that everyone limit their trips outside of their home and isolate in place as much as possible for the next two weeks.”


Teague said he was directing that non-essential city employees work from home. “The mayor urges other area businesses that have not already done so to consider similar steps to help slow the spread of the virus,” the mayors’ joint statement said.

7:45 a.m. Best Buy stores closed to public Sunday, offering curbside pickup

From an email:

Beginning Sunday, March 22, we will offer contactless curbside service at all locations across the country where state or local laws allow. Rather than ask you to come into our stores, any items you order on or the Best Buy app will be delivered to your car curbside. If, for any reason, you didn’t order the product in advance and the product is in stock in the store, one of our employees will be more than happy to go get it in the store and sell it to you while you remain in your car. This service also extends to returns and exchanges, the period for which has been extended on most products so that you have more time. Only employees will be allowed in the store, but we are determined to serve you as fully as we can. Unfortunately, we are temporarily unable to continue our product trade-in and recycling services.

Because of the increased concern for you, your families and our employees, we have made the decision to suspend currently scheduled installations, haul-aways or repairs for large items like refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers and TVs.

Beginning Monday, March 23, we will no longer deliver these large products into your home and will, instead, offer free doorstep delivery. This means we will take the item as close as we possibly can to the front door of your home without bringing it inside.

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