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Ruby’s Pantry Austin suspends distribution as it searches for new sponsor – Austin Daily Herald

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Ruby’s Pantry Austin suspends distribution as it searches for new sponsor

Published 9:17 am Thursday, January 11, 2024

Ruby’s Pantry Austin, which holds monthly distributions of food, has announced that it is suspending its monthly distribution as it searches for a new sponsor.

According to a release distributed by Bob Rosel, the pantry’s media coordinator Thursday morning, Grace Lutheran Church announced that they can no longer sponsor the monthly distribution, resulting in the need to cancel the January event. 

Future distributions will depend on getting a new church to become the sponsor. 

Thursday’s release mentioned that Grace Lutheran’s decision to stop its sponsorship revolved around coordinators leaving their positions for a variety of reasons and the positions could not be filled. 

Attempts have been made to fill some of these positions, but those attempts have been unsuccessful. Ruby’s Pantry headquarters wants the key coordinator positions to be filled by members from  the sponsoring church. 

Both Grace Lutheran, along with Ruby’s headquarters, are currently in discussions to find a new church sponsor and are hoping this can be completed in the near future. However, until a new sponsor can be found the monthly distributions will be suspended. Other nearby pantry locations can be found at rubyspantry.org. 

According to the site, the nearest Ruby’s Pantry is in Albert Lea at Albert Lea United Methodist Church. Their next pop-up distribution is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3. Registration begins at 8:45 a.m.

Grace Lutheran began working to bring the Ruby’s Pantry in Austin near the end of 2018. The first pantry was held at the church in September of 2019. 

COVID  brought new challenges and forced the distributions outdoors. Thanks to the generosity of the Mower County Fair Board those distributions have been held at the Mower County Fairgrounds since April of 2020. Other businesses have partnered with Ruby’s Austin to help make the  distributions possible. 

Grace and Ruby’s Austin thanks Andy’s Logging, Thompson Sanitation,  KAUS AM/FM, The Austin Daily Herald, KAAL TV, Mower County Emergency Management and  International Paper for their assistance.  

Ruby’s Pantry Austin has helped an average of 150 guests a month since its beginning and  has distributed over 7,800 shares to area residents in all seasons and every kind of weather.  Around 50 to 70 volunteers, from many organizations and individuals, have come, each month,  to help set-up, distribute and clean up. Without them there would be no distribution.  

The hope is that, once a new sponsor is found, these partners and volunteers will continue to  assist in making the monthly distributions possible. Keep checking local media and the Ruby’s Pantry Austin Facebook page at  facebook.com/Rubys-Pantry-Austin for news about the restart of Ruby’s distributions.

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