Providing help are three food pantries: The Ministry Center, Maryville; West Nodaway Food Pantry, Burlington Jct.; and on the Northwest Missouri State University campus, Bearcat Food Pantry.
The Ministry Center has seen an increase in people using its services. Director Merlin Atkins attributed this to an increase in food prices and students being home from school during the summer. The center serves approximately 200 families per month. Last year, the center distributed over 500,000 pounds of food.
Atkins said families are not receiving as much help this summer as they did in 2021. The center provides extra food during the summer with the Brown Bag program. Once a month, an additional $200 worth of food per school age child, kindergarten through high school, is given to each family.
Atkins said the center signs up families and individuals for USDA commodities through the SNAP program. This allows one visit to the food pantry per month. The center is open 1:30 to 3:30 pm, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Atkins is planning a food drive at Hy-Vee later in the summer. Atkins appreciates the people of Nodaway County who help with donations of cash or food. Donations may be made at The Ministry Center, 971 South Main. The Ministry Center is run by volunteers. For more information call 660.582.6649.
The West Nodaway Food Pantry is run through the First Christian Church in Burlington Jct. Pastor Terry Robison said they have also seen an increase in clients this summer due to increased food prices, gas prices and children not in school. He said they are getting new people, one or two during each Walmart food drop.
There is a blessing box outside of the church. During the summer it is filled with items that will withstand the heat. Robison said it is being emptied more rapidly than normal.
It is run with donations and is open to people who are in need. Visits are restricted to two per month. The food pantry is open 4 to 6 pm, Tuesdays. The food drop is at 4:30 pm, the second, third and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Attendees are given a number and then called in two or three at a time. This is a first come, first served while supplies last. This does not count toward the two visits per month.
To donate money and/or food visit the church at 211 East Third Street or call Robison at 660.253.0823.
The Bearcat Food Pantry is for Northwest Missouri State University students, faculty and staff. It is located on the second floor of the JW Jones Student Union. Jacob Wood, student affairs coordinator, said the pantry is mainly used by students.
In the summer numbers go down. In May, there were 70 users while February had 118 users. There was a total of 624 users for the year with a total of 3,232 pounds of food distributed.
To make monetary donations, visit the student affairs complex office on the second floor. For food donations, there is a red food bin outside of the office. For large amounts of food donations or questions, call 660.562.1242.
There are two Second Harvest Community Food Bank fresh mobile pantries scheduled in June. The pantries begin at 10 am and last until supplies are gone. There are no income guidelines and the pantries are open to the public.
The First United Methodist Church, 102 North Main Street, Maryville is on Tuesday, June 21. The next one is at the city hall in Skidmore, Thursday, June 23.