June 20, 2021

Food drive benefits kids’ summer lunches

By John Van Nostrand, CNA Managing Editor

Although the school year is nearly done and students will transition to summer, that doesn’t change needs for some students.

A Winterset business working in partnership with MATURA is having food drives in their service areas so students who are in need will have food for lunches during the summer.

“We are about putting people back in their property after water, smoke or fire damage,” said Heather Riley of Rainbow International Restoration in Winterset.

“Our franchise service area directly overlaps with that of MATURA offices in south-central Iowa and we want to do our part to help stock the food pantry as kids are sent home for the summer vacation that’s quickly approaching,” she said.

With an office in Creston, MATURA Action Corporation offers services for families and individuals in need, from Head Start, infant care, housing needs and finding employment.

“It’s all about putting a home back together,” Riley said about providing food for those families. “Our territory matches up with MATURA.”

The first food drive was Wednesday at Hy-Vee in Mount Ayr. Thursday, the drive was held at Hy-Vee in Creston. Today, the staff will be at Fareway in Greenfield. Stops next week will be in Bedford and Corning.

“Donations from the town stay in the town,” she said about leaving the goods at food banks.

The COVID-10 pandemic has changed school lunches for the past year. Not knowing if every parent had a job and income to pay for the child’s lunch because of COVID, the USDA provided free school lunches during the school year.

Riley said she hopes the response from the food drives will influence people to remember those children in need during the summer.

“We are parents, too. Even outside of COVID, summer throws a wrench into those things. It’s a daily task of asking what is for lunch, where will people be. This is a good time to do this, before the kids get out of school.”

Using MATURA’s suggestions, the food drive is preferring donations of pasta, pasta sauce, crackers, canned soup and other foods, box meals and peanut butter.

“We want healthy, kid-friendly food,” she said.

Donations of paper products will also be accepted.

In Creston, MATURA is located at 207 N. Elm St.

Rainbow International of South Central Iowa is a full-service company, offering start to finish reconstruction home or business to pre-loss condition. Service area includes Pella, Ackworth, Bevington, Bridgewater, Chariton, Columbia, Creston, Dallas and Decatur County.


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.