When they became aware of the need for hygiene items at the Huxley Food Pantry, Fjeldberg Lutheran Church members made it a priority to restock necessary toiletries. For three Sundays in February, parishioners brought items to donate in addition to their regular offerings to the church. A $250 grant from Thrivent Financial was also secured to purchase items. On Feb. 11, members of the Fjeldberg high school youth group delivered dozens of donated items, including soaps, lotions, shampoos, feminine products, toothpaste and more to the Food Pantry.

Fjeldberg Lutheran Church has been serving a community meal on Wednesday nights for the past couple years. But Director of Youth Ministries Brittney Swanson recently discovered a way to better serve local residents.

“It started as a meal for confirmation families and then it was expanded to the whole congregation and the community,” she said. Swanson placed signs at the Huxley Food Pantry, hoping to bring in some of the families that utilize that service, but didn’t get much of a response. She recently decided to try taking the food to the people instead of hoping the people would come to the food.

Fjeldberg now sets up a buffet-style home-cooked meal at the food pantry every Wednesday evening. People from the community can sit down in the family room area of the food pantry and eat, or they can fill to-go boxes to take home to their families.

“For two years we’ve been waiting for people to come here (the church), but this works out so much better,” Swanson said. “I feel a little silly that it took this long to realize how easy it would be to take food to the food pantry each week.”

Fjeldberg continues to serve between 60 and 70 people at the church building on Wednesday nights, but they now also serve about a dozen families through the food pantry.

People who utilize the food pantry’s services are allowed to shop in the pantry once per month, but the Wednesday meal is a separate ministry, and people are encouraged to take part on a weekly basis if they desire.

For information about volunteering at the food pantry or questions about the food pantry’s services, go Fjeldbergs’ website at fjeldberglutheran.org.