JEWELL, Iowa — Ever since the grocery store closed in Jewell last December, people have been working to get the doors open again. They’ve been raising money behind the scenes, and they’ve found a fundraiser the locals really like.
“Two weeks ago we had cars lined up for blocks to shop and donate money for the store,” said Rick Young, a Jewell resident and Hamilton County Supervisor. “I was raised all my life here, and I’ve never been so proud to be a part of a community to see those people that come out.”
On Easter Sunday, cars and people came for a grab-and-go lunch at the store’s parking lot. Last week they came again and raised $15,000 in a few hours.
“We have a lot of elderly people in town and they don’t like to leave town, especially right now,” said Mischell Hardy, who serves on the store committee and runs a business in Jewell. “They don’t want to go to Story City or Ames or anywhere else because there’s no place to get groceries locally.”
The community plans to raise $220,000 to purchase the property and reopen the store. The community would run the store like a co-op. This is not the first time this type of business has been run in Jewell. The local farm and hardware store was about to close 20 years ago, but the community came together to buy that store and it’s still in operation.
“The community members again got together and put some money up and bought it and they run it as a cooperative. They have a manager and it’s been a very successful venture over 20 years,” said Young.
Another grab-and-go meal will happen Sunday at 11 a.m. until the food runs out. They hope to reopen the store by Memorial Day weekend.