I rise today to ask the House of Representatives to join me in recognizing Mrs. Barbara Kaiman for her outstanding leadership and positivity as she serves those in need in her local community and fights food insecurity in Mills County. Barbara has acted as the food bank director, as well as serving many other roles, for the Mills County Storehouse in Glenwood for more than 20 years – all on an entirely volunteer basis. I’m pleased to name Barbara our Iowan of the Week.
Over her years of service, Barbara has witnessed firsthand the need for assistance – but the past two have been especially hard on families in Mills County. Between the historic flooding across Southwest Iowa in the Spring of 2019 and the current COVID-19 pandemic, she has seen the need for support and assistance increase. In February, the Mills County Storehouse served 185 families. In March, that number jumped up to 240. Barbara has said she is willing to scour the entire area for donations wherever she can get them, including driving for an hour to personally pick up hundreds of baked goods for distribution.
It is Barbara’s belief, as she told my team, that the goodness of people always seems to come home.To anyone who has met Barbara, it is immediately apparent that she loves her community and strives to do what she can for those most in need.
Every week, she calls each of her families and reads them a list of what’s available in the pantry. And with COVID-19, Barbara has ensured a safe working environment for all of her volunteers and patrons by adapting to the new standards they must meet. Her volunteers have diligently followed safety protocols with masks and gloves. Mills County Storehouse has begun home deliveries for the first time in Barbara’s time with them. And they have continued to meet the needs of their community despite increased demand.
It is my distinct honor to name Barbara Kaiman as our Iowan of the Week, and thank her for her commitment to volunteering and ensuring food security for those families most in need. Although we do not know what the next months will bring, we know we can depend on those dedicated Iowans like Barbara to step up to the plate no matter what comes our way.