A little history about The Pantry.
In 2012, I knew I wanted to join the fight against hunger and help feed people. I've had a passion to feed people for quite sometime, because food can really be a powerful thing and without it, we struggle in many ways.
It seemed simple, collect food and pass it out. So we started collecting. Then we stopped collecting.
One day, while sorting through the foods, we saw things like Hot Flaming Cheetos, Vienna Sausages, Ramen Noodles, expired foods and more food like items. As Vanessa and I were sorting, I kept thinking, this is not what I had in mind when I said I wanted to help feed people. There were items in there that would make only one meal. Then the epiphany.....
We need to help feed people 'meals'. Yes! That was it. A menu, where people could select what they wanted and we could give them the recipes to make those meals, along with the foods they needed to make them.
But then what? I had a few meals in mind that we can put on the menu, but it wasn't enough.
Then Kolbi came along, bringing with her all these great recipes, ideas and the simple fact that she can feed her family of 5 on $200 a month. You read that right, 5 people, $200 a month!
Then more great folks came along, donating refrigerators, freezers, food, money, and time. Together, a team of us strategized, shared creative ideas and helped put the menu together. Kolbi created the recipes and perfected each of them. Family Size Chicken Pot Pie, White Bean Chicken Chili, Red Beans and Rice, Chicken and Rice and Vegetables, Vegetable Bean Soup, and Chicken and Vegetable Pasta. In some meals, people even get to select which seasonings they want. Italian Garlic, Curry, Mexican, or Lemon- Pepper. Yum!
The Pantry was birthed and opening day wasn't far in sight. It was just a matter of collecting food, money and working out a few more details.
Then came Paula, who helped get us even closer to opening day. Paula is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and has become a great part of The Pantry team. She has connected The Pantry with a plethora of wonderful volunteers from her church, she does the volunteer scheduling and her church donated $1,000 worth of food commodities to The Pantry.
The one thing I love about The Pantry is that it is community supported. There are individuals, businesses and churches who help support the work and mission of The Pantry.
Our first day open was July 25th, 2014. After hurdles, obstacles and jumps, we finally opened.
We served 75 people from 28 families.
By October, we increased to 220 people in 70 families.
And, in January we served 353 people from 94 families!
My great hope is that there won't be a need for The Pantry to be open because there is enough food accessible for everyone, but until then, The Pantry will be open the 4th Friday of each month to give people food and the recipes they need to turn those foods into delicious, nutritious and filling meals.
No id, no requirements, no questions asked.
Just come and get it.
Thanks for joining us in the journey. If you believe the work we do is important here and can help, please don't hesitate to click the donate button on the upper, left side of the page and give what you can. Anything helps.
The mission of The Pantry is to reduce food insecurity in and empower residents of Mid-Missouri. We will achieve this by providing our guests with ingredients for complete meals along with easy to follow recommendations to help achieve self-sufficiency. It is vital to our organization that all members of our community are welcome; therefore we have no income, identification, or geographic requirements.
This place is amazing. No exclusions. Good fresh food that is so yummy! Friendly people who want nothing more than to help you. - Lindsey
I love The Pantry because this is food that I can eat. I have Crohn's disease, so I can't eat all the processed foods other places give out. - Rebecca
This is changing the way my family eats and everyone is happier! - anonymous