Ruby’s Pantry announces handful of changes, teases new location in Rochester

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(ABC 6 News) – Ruby’s Pantry announced a handful of changes going into effect at all 90 locations across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Beginning with the distribution Thursday, Ruby’s Pantry will be increasing the donation amount per bundle from $20 to $22. The increase is to help offset the increased cost of transportation and storage. Those in line are asked to give exact change to help keep the line moving with a minimum of delays.

"The pandemic has presented some challenges to their distributions from lack of volunteers to increased costs. Ruby’s Pantry does not buy the food it distributes. The items are donated by companies and other commercial entities for Ruby’s to pick up and store until they can be distributed thru their monthly food share pop-up pantries. Ruby’s sends trucks across the country to pick up the donated items and then stores them in North Branch, Minn."

Another change at some of Austin’s distributions has been the return to one line of cars instead of two. This change is made on the day of the distribution depending on how many volunteers show up. If enough people come to help they can safely run two lines.

The Ruby’s Pantry Austin distributions remain a drive-by with a two bundle per vehicle limit. The distribution begins at 4:00 PM and will continue until 5:30 or until they run out of items. It is held every third Thursday of the Month at the Mower County Fairgrounds.

"If you have questions about volunteering for Ruby’s Pantry call Grace Lutheran Church at 433-3445. They are expecting pantry usage to go up in the months ahead and hope volunteers will arrive to help out."

Ruby’s Pantry also noted a new site coming to Rochester but did not provide details on when that would begin or the location.