The City of Cedar Rapids and Linn County will be working in collaboration with the local nonprofit Urban Dreams to open a new community food pantry at the Ladd Library in southwest Cedar Rapids.

Iowa's News Now reports that it's also a partnership involving HACAP. Ladd Library is located at 3750 Williams Blvd SW.

Refrigerated and non-perishable items will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Ladd Library between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and the first day open will be this Thursday, April 15. That event will serve as the grand opening of Urban Dreams' Cedar Rapids headquarters, which is also located in Des Moines.

Urban Dreams mentors individuals with high barriers to success, including high school dropouts or at-risk youth, those lacking career guidance, those with criminal records, and the unemployed or underemployed. They've helped local employers like Travero, Raining Rose, ImOn Communications, and Hy-Vee develop employment programs and find qualified workers from these categories.

Shortly after the derecho, Urban Dreams worked with Hy-Vee and Atlantic Bottling Company, to help the City establish the first meal site at the 1st Avenue Hy-Vee and secure donations of shelf-stable milk and beverages. The team also coordinated with Hy-Vee to provide a Thanksgiving Meal Giveaway at Ladd Library.

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The organization's workforce coordinator, Elizabeth Buch said

This food pantry will serve an important need for our clients, and many others who utilize the Ladd library. We partner with a number of non-profits in the Cedar Rapids area and have found through exploring services that the food pantry is located in a perfect location to complement and expand existing services that address food insecurity.

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