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Resources Unite, an organization designed to assist people who are going through tough times, set up food pantries around Dubuque County for the COVID-19 pandemic last week.

“The objective is to help people in Dubuque County,” Josh Jasper, director of Resources Unite, said. “Our question was how can we better support these communities? The answer is with the support of food and volunteers.”

Brian Maiers, mayor of Holy Cross, said he was contacted by Jasper March 16. He did think about it before making a decision.

“There was hesitation at first because it’s not something I had considered,” he said. “I wanted to make sure that this pantry wouldn’t hurt our local grocery store. Then, I figured that it would be a very good thing for our community and the surrounding area.”

By the end of the week, the organization had pantries available in Holy Cross, Farley, Worthington and Balltown.

“We are purchasing all the food from St. Stephens Food Bank,” Jasper said. “Food banks allow us to purchase the food through them at a discounted price.”

“People with hourly jobs may need help during this time,” Maiers said. “We must help each other through this crisis, so the food pantry ended up being a no-brainer decision when all things were considered.”

Sometimes, a food pantry can carry a negative meaning with it, but Maiers urges those who need it to utilize this resource.

“If someone has to skip a meal because they spent their money on rent, medicine or they just don’t have enough food for their families,” Maiers said, “the food pantry is there to help them.”

Jasper added they are still looking for volunteers to help work at these pantries and that donations of food will be accepted at the locations in the towns. People interested in lending a hand should call the Resources Unite office, (563) 231-6280, or visit ResourcesUnite.com.

“I think that this helps people realize what we do at Resources Unite,” Jasper said. “There is always an opportunity to volunteer.”

“I was familiar with this organization before this,” Maiers said, “but for those who don’t know, Resources Unite is a great support when needed.”

Maiers added the town will consider making the Holy Cross pantry a full-time resource when this situation is over. The city council will make a decision based on what they learn over the next couple of weeks.