REXBURG, Idaho - The Madison Mobile Food Pantry provides food to more than 500 families every month, but those families were going to go without donations this month until a local business owner stepped up.
Madison Cares operates the Madison Mobile Food Pantry. They coordinate distribution once a month with donated food brought to Rexburg from Pocatello. It started at the Madison Education Center's parking lot, until it grew. Then, it was held at Madison Junior High's parking lot until it was moved into the school's gym for winter.
"People show up and they're waiting for hours, and we just can't let them do that outside when it's this type of weather," said Madison Cares' Jessica Goudy.
Madison Junior High's gym was only a temporary option. The gym floor needed to be preserved and monitoring 500 random people during school hours wasn't ideal.
"It filled the need at the time, but it was never anything that could take place for years," said Goudy.
The pantry distributed 50,000 pounds of food in January, but until Monday afternoon it looked like not even a pound would be given out this month.
"The stars aligned today," said Goudy. "If things didn't go our way we were going to have to do what we didn't want to do, which was cancel for this month."
After a month of searching, Madison Cares prayers were answered. The Zone, a training center, was offered by its owner Jeff Roderick.
"I said, 'hey, we might have an answer to your problem,'" said Roderick. "We have the space, and whenever you have a big space there's a lot you can do with it."
The Zone offers sufficient parking, a loading dock and 40,000 square feet of space. Roderick said he was excited to extend the offer.
"You just never know when you need something in life," said Roderick.
The distribution day will remain 10 a.m. to noon - the third Tuesday of every month.
"This is looking like, if everything works out, a long term solution," said Goudy.
Goudy said Madison Cares is always looking for volunteers, so if you'd like to help, you can go to The Zone between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Call 359-3300 ext. 3434 with any questions.