Amber's youngest son's face lit up when a volunteer handed him a package of candy.

Amber was happy to get crackers, pasta, meat and vegetables from Open Door Service Center in Pettis County, too.

"I need to come once a month," she said. "If not, I wouldn't be able to pay my bills."

Amber works in housekeeping at a hotel in Sedalia. Although technically full time, she does not always get a full 40 hours in, and the uncertainty of her shifts makes it tough to find a second job.

A single mom, the pantry helps her feed her two sons.

"We would be out of food without it," she said.

In Benton County, Chris, his wife and their three children recently moved to Warsaw from the Kansas City area in order to enroll their children in the more rural school district that he attended.

Opting for good schools has come with a sacrifice, however. Work in his field, construction and maintenance, is tougher to find in Benton County.

This past month, he relied on the Benton County Food Pantry to help the family get through while between jobs.

"It's hard," he said, waiting for volunteers to package food items. "It's hard to find work."

While waiting, Chris learned more about how The Food Bank operates, including the fact that distributing food at no charge would not be possible without support of  generous donors.

"I'm thankful for the donors," he said. "Without them, we would be in a really tight spot."