February 2018
Float Your Boat Registration is Open
Registration is open for Float Your Boat for The Food Bank, mid-Missouri's only cardboard boat regatta . The event challenges teams to create and race cardboard boats across Bass Pro Shops Lake for a variety of prizes.

WHAT: Float Your Boat for The Food Bank
WHERE: Bass Pro Shops Lake, Columbia
WHEN: Saturday, April 28
Races begin at 11 a.m.
Accomplishments include distribution
of healthier food, energy efficiency
The Food Bank’s 2017 Accomplishments Report, an annual publication outlining food distribution and recognizing those who support the operation, will be in mailboxes later this month.

This year’s report details how we were able to increase the nutritional value of food we shared this past year. Of the more than 29.8 million pounds of food distributed, 61 percent was in the form of “foods to encourage,” defined by Feeding America as whole grains, produce, protein and dairy.

In addition to increasing the nutritional value of food distributed, The Food Bank in 2017:

  • Completed several projects to improve energy efficiency

  • Successfully completed our second ever AIB re-certification inspection, meeting the highest standards of food safety

  • Expanded the Mobile Pantry program in Cole County from two monthly distributions to a weekly distribution, thanks to the gift of a refrigerated truck from the United Way of Central Missouri Foundation and United Way of Central Missouri 

  • Launched a new stewardship program to recognize those who have supported The Food Bank with monetary donations

  • Partnered with Mpix to present a record-setting Score Against Hunger campaign

  • Hosted a new signature event, Taste of the Tigers, at Memorial Stadium

  • Implemented new software programs to more efficiently manage volunteers and improve coordination among partner agencies

“Everything we do here at The Food Bank revolves around our mission of sharing food, whether it is improving our lighting system to save money on utilities, implementing new software to better serve those using our agencies, or launching creative new events to raise money to acquire healthier food,” said Lindsay Young Lopez, executive director. “I’m proud of the work this team did in 2017 to make The Food Bank an even more efficient operation.”

More details about these achievements, including our efforts to become energy efficient, can be found in the Accomplishments Report, which will be online at www.ShareFoodBringHope.org later this month. 
Turkey provides holiday meal,
hope for Callaway County families
The holidays may be over, but Christmas Day 2017 will likely stay in the minds of some Holts Summit residents for years to come.

This past December, a woman there was going through a particularly tough time, said Brenda Terry-Hotz from Holts Summit Food Pantry. Her husband was suffering from complications following a major surgery, forcing them to leave a house they had called home for many years.

With limited finances, the family moved in with a friend in a small apartment.

When the woman went to the pantry for food assistance, she was surprised when she was given a turkey.

"She cried when she received the turkey The Food Bank had provided," Brenda said.

Later, the woman shared that she had saved the turkey for Christmas dinner.

"Not only did that turkey provide Christmas dinner for her and her friend's family but they invited several neighbors in the apartment complex who had no place to go for Christmas and shared the turkey with them as well," Brenda said. "So, that little turkey made a big difference in the life of one of our guests, and I suspect it made a difference in the lives of others as well."

Thank you to everyone who made Christmas dinner possible for neighbors in need this past year, and for your ongoing support of sharing food and bringing hope to countless Missourians.
"It helps me and my family because we do not have money."
- Buddy Pack Recipient, Macon County
Donor Spotlight
The Missouri Gaming Commission has issued a challenge for other state agencies: Wear blue jeans and give back.

For more than five years, the gaming commission has allowed staff members to make a $1 donation in exchange for the privilege of wearing jeans on Thursdays and/or Fridays. Money goes to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri’s Buddy Pack program.

LeAnn McCarthy, public information coordinator for the department, said the program has had a number of benefits. Since it began, MGC employees have raised $18,699—the equivalent of providing Buddy Packs to more than 100 children every single weekend during the school year. It’s also created a better work environment.

“Everybody likes to wear jeans, so that’s a benefit, and the fact we’re helping provide Buddy Packs to children who need food over weekends and breaks, that’s an added benefit,” she said.

The MGC made its first contribution in 2013 after staff collectively decided which charitable program they wanted to support. Executive Director Bill Seibert was instrumental in the effort, McCarthy said.

“It was his idea to help children in school, and from there the idea became to help those children who needed food,” she said.

The Missouri Gaming Commission’s donation specifically benefits children at schools located in counties in which employees reside.

The gaming commission has since challenged other state agencies to start a similar type of charitable campaign, McCarthy said, adding that it benefits not only the community and state but also staff members. “Everybody feels good about the effort and the amount of money we’ve given,” she said. “It’s substantial.”
Agency Testimonials
Each month, we ask our partner agencies to share with us news from their organizations and the people they serve.

Julie Jacobs from the Versailles Nutrition Site in Morgan County writes:

During Thanksgiving and Christmas many senior citizens attending our lunch programs are so very thankful that they have a wonderful Senior Center to come to for a full course meal at this time of year.
Dorothy Herndon from Child Safe of Central Missouri, Inc. in Pettis County tells us they were able to provide nutritious snack options after school to children who had not eaten lunch and were hungry.

Heather Gieck from Healing House in Cole County writes:
We have several women who come out of prison, who enter the program with absolutely nothing. The food we get helps them to make a good start!

Kim Drummond at California Nutrition Center in Moniteau County tells us:

With a small center, we really count on the food products from The Food Bank to enhance our food program. We appreciate it so much! 
Volunteer Spotlight
Staff and clients of Wildwood Care Center in Madison, Mo., were honored as the February Volunteers of the Month. The group has served with The Food Bank since 2015 and average 30 to 36 hours every month. This past year, the group served a total of 410 hours.