Marshalltown’s three largest grocers give back
Now almost a week after the tornado, locals are still grappling with the fallout. Marshalltown’s three largest grocers — Hy-Vee, Walmart and Fareway — have found ways to give back to the community.
Marshalltown Hy-Vee Store Manager Ric Anderson said the company mobilized immediately after the storm was over.
“We brought supper to first responders the first night — 250 people — at the fire department,” Anderson said.
By Friday, the corporate office had sent out five Healthy You Mobiles to Marshalltown and Pella, stocked with free water, ice, Gatorade and snacks.
“Right now we just have the one mobile parked in our parking lot,” he said. “We switched to sending vans out through the neighborhoods instead, because of how hard it is to get an RV through some of these streets.”
The vans follow Red Cross vehicles around to help hand out supplies.
“When no one is at the mobile after hours, we still have supplies available inside our store,” he added.
People can help support disaster relief and show community pride by purchasing Marshalltown Strong t-shirts. The shirts costs $15 with $8 of each purchase going to disaster relief.
“We’ve sold 350 shirts since Saturday afternoon and more are coming in,” he said.
But the mission Hy-Vee has been the most busy with is providing meals for displaced people housed at the YMCA-YWCA.
“Everyday we deliver 72 meals each for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That includes people staying at the Y and any people who are assisting,” he said.
Currently, the Y is housing between 35-40 folks each night, according to information provided by the Red Cross.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have committed to $50,000 worth of cash and product donations to organizations in response to the tornado. Walmart is working closely with local officials and government entities to determine where this money goes.
“Our leadership is on the ground actively helping our associates, customers and the Marshalltown community after this devastating storm,” said Arch Allison, Walmart market manager, in a press release. “In the coming days we will continue to work with non-profits, first responders, local officials and governmental organizations to identify needs and provide additional support.”
Monday afternoon the Ohio-based Matthew 25: Ministries had two mobiles set up at the Marshalltown Walmart parking lot, handing out First Aid Kits and cleaning supplies, plus personal care items, including diapers, toothbrushes, toothpaste and sanitary pads.
Fareway food stores is also giving back to the community, starting with outreach at the Marshalltown locale.
“Fareway donated a truck full of stuff to the Red Cross, including water and cleaning supplies,” said Marshalltown Fareway Assistant Manager Josh Freeland. “Right after the tornado, the corporate office sent a truck that night and we got that to the Red Cross on Sunday. Twelve pallets of water, six or eight pallets of snacks and then cleaning supplies — $20,000 worth of free supplies. Then the Red Cross is taking care of the distribution to the people on our side of town.”
In addition, when people shop at the Marshalltown Fareway, they can make a donation at the checkout.
“You can round up to the nearest dollar now through Saturday,” Freeland said.
Editor’s note: This story originally said Fareway donated twelve pounds of water and six or eight pounds of snacks. The story has been updated to reflect that it was pallets, not pounds.
Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at
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