Repercussions of recession have finally made its way to central Missouri as numbers of food bank customers continue to rise. The Missouri Food Bank Association reported this week that demand at some pantries have risen as much as 44 percent this year due to layoffs and other financial difficulties.


Repercussions of recession have finally made its way to central Missouri as numbers of food bank customers continue to rise.

The Missouri Food Bank Association reported this week that demand at some pantries have risen as much as 44 percent this year due to layoffs and other financial difficulties.

Scherry Branstetter, director of the Eldon Community Food Pantry, said while numbers of customers have gradually gone up over the last year, this month she has seen significant increases.

"We usually get between 1,500 to 1,700 people (coming in for food)," she said, "but we've had more than 2,000 come in this month.

Due to local food drives by McDonalds, 3 Rivers Electric, the school district and other civic organizations, along with a recent shipment of food from the Central Missouri Food Bank, they should be set until mid to late January, she said.

The Central Missouri Food Bank services 15 hunger-relief agencies at the lake's tri-county region.

With 6 weeks still left in the year, the organization has distributed nearly 450,000 pounds of free food to Camden County alone, well over the total 2008 distribution of 389,441 pounds.

The organization also encourages grocery stores to participate in Check Out Hunger, a program where shoppers can donate as they check out. Each dollar provides 20 pounds of food or 15 meals.

For the entire story, pick up the weekend edition of the Lake Sun.

To contact this Lake Sun reporter, call (573) 346-2132 or e-mail trysta.eakin@lakemediaonline.com.

Where to go to help
Grocery stores in that participate in Check Out Hunger:

Camden County
Camdenton - Gerbes, Save-A-Lot and Woods Supermarket
Lake Ozark - Paul's Supermarket
Osage Beach - Hy-Vee and Paul's Supermarket

Miller County
Eldon - Paul's Supermarket and Gerbes

Morgan County
Gravois Mills - Save-A-Lot
Stover - G2M

 

Where to go for help
Food banks supported by CMFD:

Camden County
Camdenton CO Senior Center: (573) 346-2776
Cedar Ridge Treatment Center: (573) 346-6758
Lighthouse Mission: (573) 280-0507
Share the Harvest Food Pantry: (573) 873-5855
Show-Me Christian Youth Home - Camden: (573) 346-3087

Miller County
Eldon Community Food Pantry: (573) 392-8380
Hope House: (573) 365-0099
Visions Unlimited Food Pantry: (573) 392-5844
Visions Mobile Food Pantry: (573) 392-5844

Morgan County
End Time Joseph Program: (573) 374-6323
Ivy Bend Community Food Pantry: (573) 372-2581
Versailles Nutrition Site: (573) 378-6232
West Central Missouri CAA: (573) 378-4432
Westside Senior Center: (573) 372-3588

Other food banks
Lamb House: (573) 346-2166
Community for Christ: (573) 374-4425