Food Pantry continues to assist community

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Cassville Community Food Pantry, sponsored by the Cassville United Methodist Church and St. Edwards Catholic Church, is meeting the needs of hundreds of families per month and has noticed a recent influx of new faces.

Due to employment transitions, increased cost of living and the rise of unemployment, the Cassville Community Food Pantry has noticed a steady increase of new faces to the program, although the overall number of community members being served has remained consistent throughout the past several months.

"The need is always there," said Janet Mills of the Cassville United Methodist Church, "There is the requirement to meet new needs such as medical bills, or any other bills, and the need will continue in the long run because of the cost of living on the rise."

The food pantry serves the Cassville community with three programs. The Feeding America Program, a daily walk-in pantry, serves between 300 and 350 families per month, which is approximately 1,000 to 1,100 persons per month. The food pantry also serves with two federal commodity programs.

The Cassville Community Food Pantry has the funds to continue serving the community for the time being, but they anticipate a large decrease in giving throughout the summer months.

"People are usually generous during the holiday season, which is a giving time of year, but giving is reduced during the summer months," said Mills, "We do have the provisions to continue the program, but donations are greatly appreciated."

If people in the community are willing to give, monetary donations are encouraged, because the donation of one dollar at the food bank can generally buy four dollars' worth of retail items.

In the form of food donations, the food pantry prefers dry storage items that are shelf stable and that will stretch a meal for as many people as possible. Knowing this, a few food donation ideas from the Cassville Community Food Pantry include rice, noodles and oatmeal, all of which can be added to meals to make them stretch further. Other needed items include pasta, spaghetti sauce and soups.

The local community can get involved with the food pantry in several ways. Citizens are encouraged to come and visit the food pantry. In addition to monetary and food donations, citizens can also assist the food pantry by volunteering. Volunteers are not required to lift or carry heavy weight.

"We have a great desire to see more people get involved in the communications aspect," stated Mills, "We need people helping clients feel that we do care and that we have the time to listen to their individual needs."

The Cassville Community Food Pantry would love to see more community members get involved with this ministry and welcomes everyone to stop by the Cassville United Methodist Church and witness all that they are doing there. They are happy to give tours and explanations of the food pantry process.

Mills concluded, "Our motto is 'The hungry will not be forgotten.' People need to know that they aren't falling through the cracks, and that their community has not forgotten about them."

To donate to the Cassville Community Food Pantry, send checks to the Cassville United Methodist Church, P.O. Box B, Cassville MO 65625. Include the words food pantry in the memo line or attach a note to cash donations. Food donations can be dropped off at the facility.

For more information about the food pantry or how to get involved, contact Mills at the Cassville United Methodist Church at 847-2328.

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