Fill the Foyer completes another successful campaign

Group of volunteers collecting donations

Another successful Fill the Foyer campaign ends today, and the City thanks all those who brought in donations.

In addition to Harmony Clothing Closet, Nevada Community Cupboard, and Cubbie’s Cupboard, Food at First was added this year as another local entity to receive donations.
Barb Mittman, who helps with Food at First, put out a list of things specific to the organization and was amazed at the response.

“We have needs that are different in some ways, and we are so thankful for the people who helped us with donating some of those items,” she said.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, several Nevada School District employees — Elizabeth Gindt, Angela Ruden, and Jodi Heeren — picked up donations weekly so they wouldn’t pile up in the front of City Hall. The process worked smoothly.

As she thinks about the amount of donations received this year, Gindt said, “The clothing donations really seem to be consistent with past years.”

The food donations were less than in past years, but she was encouraged to see the donations of food storage and serving items needed by Food at First.

Fill the Foyer was started in 2015 by Mayor Brett Barker to combat a time when there was a lot of negativity in the community. Barker wanted to respond with something positive to highlight the things he loved about Nevada.

He’s never been disappointed by the response.

“I am blown away by the support the community gives to this event every year, especially this year during the pandemic,” Barker said. “I never imagined this would continue to grow every year when we came up with the idea for the first one. It’s a testament to the strength of our community that so many people continue to give back.”

Gindt, who plays a major role in coordinating efforts for Harmony Clothing Closet, said Fill the Foyer continues to be very beneficial to that entity. “We are able to fill our racks with warm weather clothing and blankets. January is a cold month, and we have a lot of shoppers looking for items to meet their needs,” Gindt said.

When it comes to Cubbie’s Cupboard, Gindt said it’s a busy place inside the schools and helps with food insecurity situations each week. “With these additional donations, we are able to continue to help many students and families.”

Even pets were helped by donations this year. Ruden noted, “People donated cat and dog food, which we delivered to the Story County Animal Shelter.”

The Community Cupboard Board, which includes Marilyn Brodie, Mark Larsen, Carol Thompson, Teresa Haaland, and Marlys Swanson-Brehm, expressed their thanks for Fill the Foyer.

In a written statement, the Board said, “We are continually amazed and grateful for the financial support we continue to get from the people and groups in Nevada. Giving in 2020 was at a record level. While we suggested that Fill the Foyer donations this year be made to Food At First, we have also received monetary gifts designated for our organization. Those gifts make it possible for us to meet our goal of ‘feeding the hungry in Nevada.” We are able to buy more items that may be a challenge for some families to purchase. We are also able to give more to families with the increase in donations.”

Finally, said the Cupboard Board added, “In October, November, and December, we saw record attendance at the Cupboard with a total of 374 families being served, and we gave out 615 sacks of groceries, plus Fareway gift cards, milk, eggs, butter, meat, and many additional free items. This would not be possible without the support of our community.”

–Written by Marlys Barker, City of Nevada

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