1. What is Waukee Area Christian Services?
Waukee Area Christian Services (WACS) is a non-profit organization which provides compassionate, practical care to greater Des Moines’ west side, offering food and medical assistance to those struggling to make ends meet. Supported by area churches, businesses and community organizations, WACS includes a food pantry, free medical clinic and community garden. The Food Pantry was the first to open in 2005, followed by the Free Clinic in 2009 and the Community Garden harvested its first crop in 2010.
2. How do I qualify to use the Food Pantry?
The Food Pantry serves residents in the Waukee School District and those referred by our Partner Churches. Clients are asked to fill out a “Client Information Form” and go through a brief screening process. A photo ID and a copy of the most current rent or utility bill are required. After approval, clients receive about a week’s worth of groceries and are allowed to use the Food Pantry once per calendar month. All services are on a first-come, first-serve basis; no appointment is necessary.
3. What kind of food is provided at the Food Pantry?
The selection can vary from day-to-day depending on donations. The groceries are divided into categories such as cereal/oatmeal, canned vegetables, canned fruit, boxed meals, canned meats, starches (boxed potato and rice), canned meals, pasta and pasta sauce, drinks, snack, soups, and baking items. The pantry also includes a limited selection of non-food items including household items, personal hygiene and baby care items. When available, refrigerator and freezer items are also offered. Starting in the spring, the Community Garden provides a great selection of fresh produce throughout the growing season.
4. Do you accept perishable foods?
Yes. We are blessed with two upright freezers and two refrigerators. However before making your perishable donation, please call ahead to confirm space availability for your donation.
5. How often can someone visit Waukee Area Christian Services?
Clients may visit the Food Pantry once per calendar month. There is no limit to the number of times a patient can visit the Free Clinic.
6. How do I qualify to use the Free Medical Clinic?
The Free Clinic has no geographic boundaries. There are no restrictions on who can come to the clinic. The Free Clinic serves the uninsured and under insured. All patients are seen on a first-come, first-serve basis.
7. What services are available at the Free Clinic?
The Free Clinic offers a variety of care including Illness / Minor Injury Care, Well Child Exams, Sports / School Physicals, Employment Physicals, Chronic Disease Management, Diabetes – Blood Glucose Testing and High Blood Pressure Testing.
8. Who works for Waukee Area Christian Services?
The majority of Waukee Area Christian Services work is done by an active team of dedicated volunteers. Volunteers serve in the Food Pantry sorting inventory, stocking shelves, and assisting clients. Doctors, Nurses and medical professionals serve in the Free Clinic; and the Community Garden is led by volunteer Master Gardeners and a team of volunteers who plant, maintain and harvest the garden. WACS staffs two part-time people, the Executive Director and the Clinic Manager. A Board of Directors oversees and sets policies for the organization.
9. What is the difference between the Waukee Area Christian Food Pantry and a food bank?
The Food Pantry provides food directly to hungry people in the Waukee School District. A food bank, such as the Food Bank of Iowa, is a regional food recovery program which gathers and warehouses products donated by the food industry. Food banks usually serve an entire region, and provide shopping privileges to emergency food programs like ours and other non-profit agencies. Food banks do not feed hungry people directly, but rather distribute food via other agencies such as Waukee Area Christian Services, soup kitchens and shelters.
10. What are the sources of Waukee Area Christian Services food and funding?
Individual Donations, Corporations, Organizations, Congregations, Waukee School Districts Annual Fall Food Drive, National Association of Letter Carrier’s Food Drive (annual food drive in May, co-sponsored by US Postal Service), Charlotte/CROP Hunger Walk (citywide fundraising walk in October), Thanksgiving Food Drive (area school food drives), Emergency Food and Shelter Program (total amount of fund is allocated to direct food purchases).
11. Does Waukee Area Christian Services have an annual audit?
Yes. A qualified accountant conducts our annual professional audit. Copies of the audit are on file at the WACS office.
12. What other programs are available at Waukee Area Christian Services?
The Free Clinic hosts an annual Back-to-School Health Fair. The Food Pantry offers several annual programs including Easter Baskets, School Supply Drive, Thanksgiving and Christmas Food Boxes, Birthday Bags and new Baby Baskets.
13. Do you accept donations of clothing and household items?
No. Due to our limited space, we are not accepting donations of these items.
14. How do I get more information about Waukee Area Christian Services?
For more information about WACS, and how you, your business or organization can help with food contributions, tax-deductible donations, in-kind donations, and volunteer opportunities, please feel free to contact WACS.