The term "food security" is defined as "being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food." It was a problem for millions of Americans before 2020, and the pandemic did nothing but exacerbate it severely.

According to a 2021 report from Feeding Iowans Task Force, more than 305,000 people in Iowa were food insecure before the pandemic. In 2020, that number rose to 459,850. Iowa food banks showed a whopping 25% increase in food delivered in the first year of the pandemic alone.

Now, your local Menards has pitched in to help as well.

At the beginning of March and continuing until the last day of the month, Menards is serving as a drop site for local food pantry.

"We're excited to participate in this wonderful opportunity while lending a helping hand to the community," Menards says in a press release.

So, what kind of items is Menards seeking?

Non-perishable food items. Also known as items that will not spoil due to lengthy storage. This includes, but isn't limited to: cereal, cans of soup, canned beans, nuts and seeds, jerky, granola, protein, pasta, and bottled water.

While you can lug some of those items from your house over to the local Menards Home Improvement Store, Menards has opted to make life a little easier.

You can find all those items in their own grocery department. Just purchase a couple at the check-outs and drop them in the donation box inside the store. Every little bit helps in trying to combat food insecurity in our neighborhood.

You have until March 31st to make a donation at the Menards Home Improvement Store, located at 5300 Westside Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003.

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