Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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Care and Share

1808 5th Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA

712-323-4889 •


Our Mission is to Feed and Cloth the people in Our Community With Dignity and Respect

The Care and Share House is a volunteer-based organization that provides food and clothing to the people of Council Bluffs and surrounding communities.  We accept food and clothing donations to be redistributed to those in need.
A food pantry order is available to anyone who has not received help from a Council Bluffs food pantry in the last 30 days.  Appointments are accepted, but walk-ins are welcome.
Care and Share delivers food orders on a monthly basis to residents at local subsidized apartment units.  We collect the pantry orders and distribute the food on site to assist those who do not have access to transportation.
The Free Store is available to anyone during our open hours.  Clothing, coats, shoes, and small household items are available here.
A scholarship fund has been started to assist clients who want to complete their GED, but cannot afford the fees.  It costs $25.00 to register for the GED program.  Once registered, a student can take placement tests, attend classes, and receive tutoring.  When it is determined by the instructor that a student is ready to test, there is a $100.00 test fee.  If the student doesn't pass the test the first time, the fee covers the test for two years.  If you would like to sponsor a student for $125.00, contribute a smaller amount toward a sponsorship, or refer someone who needs help with GED fees, please give us a call!  Computer stations are available for job search and on-line GED programs.
There are no income restrictions on any of our programs.
Care & Share hourse are:
Monday 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - 1808 Fifth Avenue
Monday 5:30-7:00 p.m. - 600 S Main Street
Wednesday 5:30-7:00 p.m. - 600 S Main Street
Thursday 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - 1808 Fifth Avenue
Please feel free to stop by to visit or learn more about any of our projects.  We welcome your comments and suggestions.

June Update

Care and Share House, a free food, clothing, and house wares pantry originally established and operated solely by Fifth Avenue United Methodist Church, is transitioning to a joint and expanded outreach ministry of all the local United Methodist churches in Council Bluffs. Regular weekly or monthly volunteers from all the churches as well as many community members are sorting and displaying donations, stocking food, preparing pantries, and staffing the free stores at both location – the original Fifth Avenue site and the 600 South Main Street site which has now been open for about seven months. Financial support from the local churches has been a blessing to the expanded ministry: Epworth donated funds toward the purchase of a truck to pick up food at the Food Bank and to make pantry deliveries to Regal Towers, Plainview Apartments, and Bluffs Towers; Broadway donated funds for the installation of a new heating and air conditioning unit at South Main; Salem donated funds for a new computer at Fifth Avenue; Fifth Avenue UMC continues to provide the original building for the ministry, and Charlie Allen with Allen Signs from Hazel Dell made the sign for the new location. All churches drop off food donations on a regular basis. Witness, a United Methodist women’s quartet, designated the free will offering from their recent concert of over $500.00 to Care and Share House. With all of us working together, we are able to assist approximately 300 families and 700-750 individuals each month with food pantries. Many other families and individuals are finding needed clothing and household items. In April one young man selected dress clothes and shoes from the Care and Share Free Store for Prom. Other people are finding dress shirts needed for new jobs. Please know that collectively the United Methodist churches of the Council Bluffs and surrounding area are quietly and positively impacting lives in our community. We are currently in need of donations of summer clothing for men, women, and children and baby and household items. Please drop off donations at either location during open hours:
1808 Fifth Avenue: Monday & Thursday mornings 9:00 a.m. to noon. 600 South Main: Monday & Wednesday evenings 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Please watch for future updates about YOUR Care and Share House!


Care and Share is assembling a cookbook to hand out to clients.  We want your recipes!  Especially needed are recipes that use the commodities they receive from us such as dry milk, dry beans, Cheerios, peanut butter, ground venison, tuna, canned meat, canned spinach, and canned beans.

Loading Food for Delivery

Volunteers Take Time for a Picture

Packing Food Orders for Delivery


The following article was printed in the July 2011 issue of Sharing the Mission, the Iowa Annual Conference—Southwest District newsletter:

"The Care and Share House at 5th Avenue UMC in Council Bluffs wants to begin a ministry of outreach and care to the homeless of Council Bluffs. Below is a list of items needed to pack into a backpack to help a homeless person survive. Most of these items can be purchased for a dollar or less at Dollar Tree, No Frills, etc. They are also collecting used backpacks and duffle bags for distribution of the items. Any contribution will help.
  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Handi-wipes
  • Sanitizer
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Neosporin
  • Water bottle
  • Aspirin
  • Mess kit (small, light dishes)
  • Drink mix (single serve packets)
  • Can opener
  • Visine
  • Tissues
  • Socks
  • Lighter
  • Flashlight
  • Chapstick