Our Program on Tuesday, January 3rd was Scott Searl, Director for Philanthropy for ICA.  We had an amazing turn-out of 20 members in spite of the blizzard and 5” of snow!  Prior to Scott’s presentation we inducted Keith Stuessi as our newest member.  Tim Litfin handled the formal induction and Garry Thompson introduced Keith to the members and is his club sponsor.  Keith gave some brief comments and was unanimously voted in as our 4th new member since July.
Scott Searl is well known to many of us as a pastor in our community for many years and is now the Director of Philanthropy at ICA.  Scott started by saying ICA is known as a food shelf but it is much more that.  He said, “ICA is all about food, Jobs and Housing.” He started by talking about the food distribution and that ICA distributes 8,000 pounds/day and serves 938 families.  Coming out of Covid with federal programs ending there is a historic demand for food and assistance.  Scott noted that qualifying recipients still need to make an appointment and that 20% of the people they are serving are coming from outside the traditional boundary lines of ICA.  They get their food to distribute from three sources: Lund’s and Beverly’s provide 1/3; rescued produce is 1/3; and ICA buys fresh produce for the other 1/3rd.  Due to the economy and inflation the cost of buying these things costs ICA and additional $200,000 to $300,000 which is an increase of 33% over budget!  Now ICA’s volunteers make home deliveries to shut in’s and disabled and often those volunteers find out that recipients they deliver to do not even have the basic implements to even open the delivered canned and fresh foods so they supply them also.
ICA also helps recipients to find jobs and housing assistance.  They have a full time employment consultant Kerry Fisher to help people in their job search and she has contacts that are willing to employ immigrants, ex-felons and others that have been terminated due to budget cuts.  They also provide housing assistance to the tune of 1 1/2 million dollars in rental assistance!  They can only provide one month of rental assistance and have 200-300 families receiving assistance.  ICA gets high marks for keeping their overhead to 10% with the rest going to their clients.  Over the last several they have become very efficient in their new location that gives their clients the feel of a regular grocery store.  We also found out during the Q&A that they provide books to all ages and our club will make them a recipient from our spring book collection project.  They also provide dog, cat and rabbit food for pets.  ICA also provides snacks for needy kids in the Hopkins Schools. 
Scott Searl is an amazing addition to ICA and we look forward to volunteering our club for a work day and part of our charitable giving program.