An organization based in eastern Iowa that helps deployed soldiers is in need of some help itself. The Iowa Troop Pantry collects donated goods to send care packages to Iowa soldiers serving in Afghanistan. Executive director Mike Tyson says the Iowa City business that was donating the group’s office space recently closed, so the pantry needs a new home.
Right now, the pantry and its team of up to 70 volunteers are operating out of a storage garage. “We’re just going to adapt as things happen,” Tyson said. “If we can find another place, some office space where we can operate, that will give us the tools and the room we need to grow.”
The Iowa Troop Pantry has sent almost 3,000 pounds of donations to soldiers and Tyson says, despite the setback, they won’t quit anytime soon. “I grew up in a military family. I know the sacrifices the deployed troops are making. I know the sacrifices the families here at home are making,” Tyson said. “You’re basically dealing with about 4,000 broken families.”
Tyson’s daughter, Maria, is the pantry’s president. She says losing the office space has hurt the group’s mission. “I’ve seen our donations of goods go down quite a bit because people would just drop off a bag of something…now we don’t have that,” Maria Tyson said. Anyone who would like to donate food, materials or Iowa City office space, can e-mail IowaTroopPantry@gmail.com or call (319) 930-8333.
By Mark Geary, KCRG-TV, Cedar Rapids