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."