We work with the following agencies to get nutritional food to those in need in Cooper County:
NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS
OTTERVILLE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
PRAIRIE HOME UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Want to speak with our regional coordinator about how you can help Score Against Hunger in Cooper County? Contact Darren White at (573) 474-1020 or email@example.com.
In the News
Score Campaign Now Includes Cooper County
Columbia Orthopaedic Group has become the presenting sponsor of the 2016 Missouri Tigers Score Against Hunger campaign, which will be held in Cooper County for the first time ever.
The campaign is The Food Bank’s largest fundraising effort. Each fall, it challenges University of Missouri football fans to get in on the action by pledging a dollar amount per point scored during the season or by directing an outright gift to the Tigers’ campaign.
Missouri Tigers Score Against Hunger began in 1995 under then MU Football Head Coach Larry Smith and continued under the helm of Coach Gary Pinkel. This year, Head Coach Barry Odom has agreed to carry on the tradition and participate.
“With excitement around a new season under a new coach, we decided it was a good year to expand the campaign to all of our counties,” said Lindsay Young Lopez, executive director. “We know there are Tigers fans throughout central and northeast Missouri, so we wanted to make sure they had an opportunity to participate, as well.”
Donations from Score go directly into the acquisition and distribution of food to those in need. As of June 30, the half-way point in the fiscal year, The Food Bank had distributed more than 256,000 pounds in Cooper County.
Missouri Tigers Score Against Hunger also encourages businesses and individuals to make leadership gifts, and those who do so are invited to a Victory Luncheon at the end of the season featuring Coach Odom. Columbia Orthopaedic Group has reached the Touchdown line, the highest sponsorship level possible.
“Columbia Orthopaedic Group has been a tremendous partner to us over the years,” Lopez said. “We hope the group’s example inspires others to join us in the ongoing fight against hunger in our communities.”
Families Rely on Otterville Pantry
To donors who make the work of The Food Bank possible, Cleota of Otterville says thank you.
"I love them for blessing my life," she said last month waiting for the Otterville Food Pantry to open. "If it wasn't for them, I would go hungry. If it wasn't for her, we would all go hungry."
"Her" is Rita Henson. Henson, along with her husband, Jim, started the food pantry there three years ago after the local high school held a food drive and collected so much food, no one was quite sure how to distribute it.
The Hensons pitched the idea of a pantry to leaders at Otterville Presbyterian Church who agreed to provide space but told the couple they would be on their own in terms of operating it.
They were not on their own for long. Volunteers have come out in force to help, Rita said. And they are loyal, including Rick Miller, who drives to Columbia twice a month to pick up food from The Food Bank Warehouse.
Having the pantry in the church basement worked for a few years, but posed challenges. There was barely room to store food, and steep stairs made it difficult for elderly or disabled clients to come, Rita said.
Several months ago, a storefront down the street became vacant.
Rita dipped into her personal savings to buy it for the pantry.
"Because God told me to," she said. "And God has continued to bless us."
Those blessings are trickling down to the nearly 400 families that have come to rely on the local pantry.
J.D. uses food from the pantry to supplement what he can provide through hunting and fishing. "What little assistance I get pays the light bills and insurance, so this helps me out."