By Pastor Mark Anderson, Assistant to the Bishop

Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Leland has given the Northeastern Iowa Synod nearly $600 to help congregations in the synod set up “Little Free Pantries” in their communities.

This money will be shared as grants to congregations to defray the cost of building and installing a Little Free Pantry. Already, 18 congregations and ministries have established 19 Little Free Pantries in this synod.

These containers allow congregations and community members to “leave what they can and take what they need,” including food, personal hygiene products, and school supplies. The Little Pantries allow people to give and take anonymously 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The need for these Free Food Pantries (sometimes call blessing boxes) has increased because of the unemployment/underemployment caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The cost of constructing one has increased because of the lumber shortage, also caused by the virus. These grants will help congregations to start a new ministry that not only feeds the hungry but also proclaims the congregation’s Christian love for the members of their community.

Information about the pantries, including building plans, can be found at

To learn more about how to access or contribute to this grant, please contact Pastor. Mark A. Anderson, assistant to the Bishop, at

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.


Mission, News