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2016 Pounds Shipped to Cole County:

1,416,599 LBS

We work with the following agencies to get nutritional food to those in need in Cole County:

FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH FOOD PANTRY
MOBILE FOOD PANTRY
JEFFERSON CITY DAY CARE
RAPE & ABUSE CRISIS SERVICE
SALVATION ARMY – CENTER OF HOPE
SALVATION ARMY FOOD PANTRY
SAMARITAN CENTER
SENIOR NUTRITION COUNCIL OF COLE COUNTY
THE HEALING HOUSE & NEW BEGINNINGS, INC.

We distribute Buddy Packs on Fridays to children who receive
free or reduced-price lunches at school. In some cases, this food is the only nutrition these children have at home during weekends and holidays. In Cole County, we distribute Buddy Packs through the following schools:

BELAIR ELEMENTARY
CALLAWAY HILLS ELEMENTARY
CEDAR HILL ELEMENTARY
EAST ELEMENTARY
EUGENE ELEMENTARY (COLE R-5)
KIRCHNER STATE SCHOOL
LAWSON ELEMENTARY
LEWIS & CLARK MIDDLE
MOREAU HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY
NORTH ELEMENTARY
PIONEER TRAIL ELEMENTARY
RUSSELLVILLE ELEMENTARY
RUSSELLVILLE MIDDLE SCHOOL
SOUTH ELEMENTARY
SOUTHWEST EARLY CHILDHOOD
THOMAS JEFFERSON MIDDLE
THORPE GORDON ELEMENTARY
WEST ELEMENTARY

Providing 1 Buddy Pack every weekend for 1 school year = $180

 

In the News

On the Move in Cole County

A new mobile pantry traveling through Cole County is bringing hope to area residents like Shirley. Shirley is a foster mom. After raising two daughters, then three grandchildren, she now provides a stable home for a great-grandson.

Shirley runs a housekeeping business and relies on The Food Bank to provide healthy meals.

“Fruits and vegetables—that’s what’s expensive at the store,” she says. “We’d be eating a lot of TV dinners without this.”

The United Way of Central Missouri Foundation and United Way of Central Missouri donated the mobile pantry truck to The Food Bank. It has added two distribution stops in Cole County, in addition to three existing mobile pantry locations, each month. Mobile pantries allow The Food Bank to bring fresh food into communities that do not have enough brick-and-mortar pantries.

“We know the need is significant in Jefferson City,” says Lindsay Young Lopez, executive director of The Food Bank. “Mobile pantries are a great option to help meet the need. We hope we are able to serve more families through this program expansion.”

Ann Bax, president and CEO of the United Way of Central Missouri, says the foundation determined a mobile truck would meet immediate needs—needs that are growing in that area.

More senior citizens are living on fixed incomes and becoming reliant on food assistance; the percentage of children qualifying for subsidized lunches at public schools now tops 60 percent; public transportation is limited.

“For more than a decade, The Food Bank’s mobile pantries have met people where they are,” Lopez says. “We are excited to increase access to fresh produce, protein and perishable items for our neighbors in Cole County.”

That includes Shirley. “This is a Godsend,” she says. “It would be really hard to make ends meet without it.”

Samaritan Center fills a gap

Trinette never had to utilize a food pantry until earlier this year when her food stamp benefits were cut.

The mom of two, who works as a cook for a correctional facility, now relies on the Samaritan Center in Jefferson City for groceries to help her feed her family.

"I don't like asking people for help, but you've got to have food," she said. "You have to have something to eat. I have to rely on the food; it helps."

Angela, another client, agreed.

"It's hard to ask for help," the mom of four said. "But it fills the gap whenever we need food. It's hard when your family only has one income."

Last month, the two were among a crowd gathered at the Samaritan Center to pick up boxes of groceries, including many holiday staples such as turkey and potatoes.

The Food Bank is one of few in the country that provides food at no charge to agencies, in turn allowing those agencies to direct resources elsewhere. That is possible because of the support of generous donors.

"Thank you," Trinette said. "It definitely helps the people who need it most."

Child exemplifies The Food Bank mission at Jefferson City summer feeding site
Among a group of children lined along the street waiting to pick up sack lunches in a low-income Jefferson City neighborhood, one young boy stood out.

He rode his skateboard up and down the sidewalk, apparently disinterested in the ham sandwiches, granola bars and juice boxes being given out.

Later, a volunteer called to him, asking if he wanted a lunch.

"Yes," he said. "I am just waiting for everyone else to get theirs first."

This particular Summer Food 4 Kids site served about 80 children every day during the program. 

For nearly 20 minutes, the boy waited as more youngsters - many barefoot - emerged from their apartments to join the crowd. Finally, when everyone had gotten sack lunches for themselves and their siblings at home, he accepted a bag.

"This young boy wanted to make sure his friends and their families had food before he did," said Stacey Brown, children's programs coordinator for The Food Bank, who was visiting the site that day, along with The Food Bank's communications coordinator. "This small child, without realizing it, personified the mission of The Food Bank -making sure neighbors in need have enough to eat."

Summer Food 4 Kids is one of several programs aimed to fulfill that mission. Through the program, The Food Bank provides lunches at no charge to children who rely on subsidized meals during the school year.