History of Pella Community Food Shelf

The Pella Community Food Shelf was organized in 1981. The pastor at Peace Lutheran Church asked the members if they would provide groceries for two families in the congregation. A shelf was cleared in the kitchen for these groceries and this is how the Food Shelf got its name. Within two weeks the word got out in the community that Peace Lutheran had groceries for those in need and the church had more requests from non-members than they could fill. The pastor then went to the other churches in the community and they decided to support having one food distribution point for the whole community and would send those needing groceries to the Food Shelf at Peace. The churches would support the Food Shelf with grocery and financial donations. The pastor at Peace moved out of the area and a church member, Helen Boertje, saw the need for the Food Shelf to continue. She and her husband organized and managed the Community Food Shelf with the use of volunteers rather than the pastor taking care of the Food Shelf. They continued in this role for many years and retired from this position about 2007. Peace Lutheran donated the space at the church for the Food Shelf storage and distribution day and pays the utilities.

In May 2013 Pella Community Food Shelf became a 501(c)(3) organization.

In August 2016 Pella Community Food Shelf relocated to The Well Resource Center at, 419 East Oskaloosa Street.

The Pella Community Food Shelf serves families who live in the Pella Community School District. The Food Shelf is part of the Central Iowa Food Bank network and some groceries can be purchased from them at a very reasonable cost. Many individuals and businesses in the Pella Community support the Food Shelf with monetary donations, groceries, and volunteers. The Pella Community Food Shelf is totally funded by donations from the Pella community. There is no paid staff and the volunteers come from many churches and community organizations.