Troop 44
A big thank you to Boy Scout Troop 44 who took up a fantastic personal care collection for us! Their efforts will help us provide the more than 1,500 such items we'll need to serve our clients this month.

Johnston Gives
We are helping over 475 kids have holiday gifts through Johnston Gives.  Thanks to the Johnston Community School District, the Lions Club, the Johnston Library, the Johnston PD, and the many generous people & organizations who made Christmas brighter for these kids.  A special thank you to Tammy Joslin who volunteered countless hours to make sure we kept everything on track.

You Can Help!

We receive a lot of calls about volunteer opportunities this time of year. There is always a volunteer spot with your name on it! The sign up is ready for 2019, if you are in the mood to plan ahead, check your calendars.  We could not accomplish all the work we do without our wonderful volunteers. Signup to volunteer here:

Clothing Donations
Please limit clothing donations from December 23 to Jan 3.  Our storage space is limited and our clothing space is getting a makeover during Christmas break. We’d love to see your donations for clothing after January 3rd. 

Johnston Chopped
Help support the Johnston Partnership by joining us for our signature culinary event, Johnston Chopped! See local chefs face off to create culinary masterpieces from foods you’d commonly find in our pantry. Come to enjoy appetizers & drinks, live entertainment, silent auction, and judging by local celebrities and a guest judge selected from the crowd! More info and tickets can be found here.

500 Miles for the Mayor
Mayor Paula Dierenfeld is at it again for the fourth year in a row! The Mayor will run one mile (beginning New Year’s Eve) for every bag of food, personal item, or $10 donated to the Johnston Partnership food pantry between now and December 30. The community delivered in a tremendous fashion last year and she ran 381 miles. We are currently at 153 miles, but she is challenging the community to see if we can make her run over 500! Keep those donations coming! 

Three Drop-Off Locations: Johnston City Hall, Johnston Public Library, Johnston Partnership 

Important Dates
December 25th and January 1st:

       Pantry and Clothes Closet Closed

February 25th:
       Johnston Chopped - Purchase your Tickets

Johnston Food Pantry

The Johnston food pantry has experienced a 35% increase in families served in the last year.  About 75% of the food we distribute from the pantry comes free from the DMARC (Des Moines Area Religious Council) with about 7-10% coming from the Food Bank of Iowa (at .14/lb.), and the rest from food drives and gardens in Johnston.

So how does the food get to our pantry?  Do we get deliveries? No; ELVES, in the form of retired men who give time, gas, muscle power to transport the food each week.

Bill Flannery, Jim Egger/Marv Pommers rotate picking up cases of food from DMARC weekly and deliver it to Partnership Place.  Because of the size of the loads it usually takes 2 trips or two vehicles to transport all the food.   Jim Clark helps unload the trucks and organizes the food on the shelves.  Gordy Allen and his brother are on-call to pick up supplies from the Food Bank of Iowa when needed.  As the families coming to the pantry have increased, so has the need for additional trips to DMARC and the Food Bank.

The men who commit themselves to getting food to the pantry have a varied background:

  • Marv Pommers is a widower who retired from John Deere after 35 years doing machining, assembly and inspector duties.  In retirement he has delivered furniture and worked at St. Mary’s Food Pantry before volunteering for our pantry the past year.
  • Jim Egger retired in 2013.  He was the Chief Structural Engineer and part owner of FRK Engineering.  His firm worked on all the schools in Johnston since 1986.  Jim also does a shift every Thursday morning at our pantry assisting clients with selections.
  • Jim Clark is retired from the Iowa Department of Education where he supervised school social workers, developed policy and was an administrator. He helps unload deliveries, regularly works on Tuesday mornings and fills in to bring Panera goodies to the pantry.

Left to Right:  Marv Pommers, Jim Egger, Jim Clark
  • Bill Flannery, retired Director of the Des Moines International Airport, has been bringing food to Johnston families for 15 years.  He says Partnership Place is the 5th location he has delivered food in Johnston to people who are hungry. He and his wife Loreen have also volunteered at St. Mary’s food pantry.

Left to right: DMARC staff, Bill Flannery
  • Gordy Allen is retired from the Attorney General’s office and teaching duties at Drake Law School.   He still is on the faculty at Drake as an adjunct. He never really retired- or as he puts it, “he’s retired several times.”

Gordy Allen and “Big Blue”

Thoughts from these gentlemen about their work:

  • Several mentioned the change from boxes of food to having families choose what food they want from our supplies.  Choice honors peoples’ preferences.
  • Now there is much more produce which is great, but it’s challenging because it doesn’t last as long as the canned or dried goods.  
  • I think our Johnston Pantry pays attention to clients wants and needs
  • I get to feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.  I get to look into the eyes of the people who benefit from my work.
  • It would be great to have more space in the pantry and a wider door to get the food in and out.

Stats for the Month of November

    November of 2018  
Families Served 319
Individuals Served 1,567
Friday Friends/Dragon Power Bags 1,202 bags
Clothing Distributed 3,155
Volunteer Hours 412
Donations $23,582

Partnership Place

(5870 Merle Hay Rd, Suite D)
Tuesdays 9am - Noon
Thursdays 9am-Noon
Saturdays 10am-2pm

Closed holidays and holiday weekends
Donate anytime we are open

Partnership Staff:
  • Andrea Cook (Program Director)
  • Chris Wilson (Jump Project Coordinator)
  • Morgan Foldes (Intern)
Board Members:
  • Barb Allen (President)
  • Chris Higdon (Pres-Elect)
  • Kathy Nichols (Treasurer)
  • Lauren Steenhoek (Secretary)
  • Tom Foldes
  • Amy Johnson
  • LuAnn White
  • Judy Anderson
  • Paul Williams
  • Peggy Martin
Copyright © 2018 Johnston Partnership for a Healthy Community, All rights reserved.

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