Central Pantry, the food pantry owned and operated by The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri, will have new hours starting Jan. 2, 2018.

Central Pantry to operate new hours in 2018

The pantry will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Central Pantry will no longer be open on Mondays.

The change aims to maximize efficiency, said Eric Maly, director of programs for The Food Bank. Central Pantry has a staff of seven who assist between 10,000 and 12,000 people every month.

“Juggling a six-day work week was challenging,” Maly said. “The schedule did not allow for vacation, sick days or time off for personal situations that come up. This will provide more flexibility for staff.”

The Food Bank surveyed people who utilize the pantry and found that most would be able to adjust to the new hours. Individuals may come to the pantry once a month to pick up groceries, and may come daily to pick up fresh produce.

In addition to operating Central Pantry, The Food Bank provides food at no charge to more than 100,000 individuals monthly through 143 partner agencies including shelters, soup kitchens and senior centers across a 32-county service area. The Food Bank also operates Mobile Pantries, which are refrigerated box trucks that deliver food to communities that do not have brick-and-mortar pantries.