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


Want to speak with our regional coordinator about how you can help Score Against Hunger in Phelps County? Contact Jessica Long at (573) 230-4866 or jlong@sharefoodbringhope.org.

In the News

Supporting a Proud Population

ROLLA - Members of Southern Cherokee Tribe in Phelps County are proud of their culture and history. They describe their ancestors as courageous, honorable and loyal—traits they aspire to, as well.

They are also hungry.

The population of about 500 Southern Cherokee living in and
around Phelps County is so impoverished that social service agencies in the area reached out to The Food Bank seeking assistance. The problem? Many members were reluctant to accept help from outsiders.

That is where tribal leaders have stepped in. Chief Steve Matthews and his wife, Darla, have worked closely with The Food Bank to get food to fellow Tribe members.

Many have warmed up to the idea of accepting food at a Mobile Pantry, where Matthews and other Southern Cherokee leaders volunteer.

“Tribe members wouldn’t go otherwise,” Matthews said. “When people they know are running it, they are more comfortable.”

The pantry is now serving nearly 100 families, about a quarter of which are members of the Tribe.

“This really helps,” said Travis, a client and volunteer. “A million times, thank you to those who donate and the generosity of those who help with this.”

Ancestors of the Southern Cherokee were among the first Federally Recognized Band of the Cherokee Nation and the group that ultimately followed Major Ridge to Oklahoma prior to the Trail of Tears.

The Tribe later sought refuge in Southern Missouri. The state was not welcoming, forcing many to live in isolation. The result has been limited access to education, nutrition-related health issues and generational poverty.

“We relied on hunting and fishing, and to a great extent, many of us still do,” Matthews said. “But the Mobile Pantry helps out a lot. Everybody loves it.”

Score Campaign Now Includes Phelps County

Columbia Orthopaedic Group has become the presenting sponsor of the 2016 Missouri Tigers Score Against Hunger campaign, which will be held in Phelps 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 767,000 pounds of food in Phelps 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.”

Area Residents Stamp Out Hunger

Rolla area residents collectively donated 11,141 pounds of food earlier this year as part of the National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

Food collected stays within the community in which it is collected.

Combined, Rolla and St. James residents donated the equivalent of more than 9,200 meals to those in need.

“We are so grateful to everyone who participated in Stamp Out Hunger,” said Lindsay Young Lopez, regional coordinator for The Food Bank. “While this is a national food drive, it is also very much a community event, and I’m proud of the way the Rolla and St. James communities came together to help us feed neighbors in need.”

Stamp Out Hunger began in 1992 and is the largest single-day food drive in the country.