March 2018
Veterans pick up VIP Veteran Packs at Benton County Food Pantry.
VIP Veteran Packs now being distributed in Benton County
“Very grateful. Very appreciative.”

That’s how Jeannie Arnold of the Benton County Food Pantry describes the Veterans now receiving VIP Veteran Packs there.

“They’re loving them,” Arnold said. “They’re very excited to get them.”

VIP Veteran Packs are boxes of food and goods specifically selected with the needs of Veterans in mind. Self-heating meals and other ready-to-eat entrees, fruit and vegetables in pop-top open cans, beef jerky and snack bars are included, as they require no appliances or utilities. Personal care items including shampoo, soap and toothpaste, are also added when available.

The VIP Veteran Pack Program began as a pilot program in 2016 to serve Veterans living at or below poverty in Boone County.

This year, the program has expanded to Benton County, where Arnold says they see more than 100 Veterans come through the door.

“We know there’s a lot of need out here,” she said. “This is very important. The more we can do for Veterans, the better off they are. And there’s such a great need, so whatever we can do is important.” 
"Thank you for doing things for us and doing good deeds."
-Buddy Pack recipient in Camden County when asked what he would
say to the person who helped provide his weekly Buddy Pack.
Registration is open for the 7th annual Float Your Boat for The Food Bank cardboard boat regatta.

Teams are challenged to build and race boats made entirely of cardboard across Bass Pro Shops Lake to compete for timed and themed prizes.

Those not building boats are encouraged to come out and cheer teams on as they sail or sink to help share food and bring hope.

WHEN: Saturday, April 28
Races begin at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Bass Pro Shops Lake, Columbia
2017 Accomplishments Report
The 2017 Accomplishments Report, which provides a breakdown of where we distributed food across our 32-county service area last year, is now available.

In 2017, The Food Bank distributed 29.8 million pounds of food, 61 percent of which was in the form of foods to encourage good health - produce, protein, dairy and whole grains. The report provides more details about our ongoing efforts to improve the nutritional quality of the food we share.
Agency Testimonials
Each month, we ask our partner agencies to share news from their organizations and the people they serve.

Dan Duckworth of Visions Unlimited Food Pantry in Miller County writes:

Every month there are people who mention they could not make it through the month if it were not for the food they receive at the pantry. People are served who have gone through an unpleasant experience and are thankful for the food they receive from the pantry - that helps lift one burden they have during their emergency situation. For sure people are in need.
Chante Wright of Reality House tells us they are required to provide a strict menu. She says:

There is no way we could ever meet the requirements without the help of The Food Bank. Thanks to The Food Bank, we are able to serve fresh fruits and vegetables which are extremely costly. We are so thankful and blessed to have support of The Food Bank.

Brenda Moore at the Sedalia Senior Center writes:
This is a life-changing event for some of these people who were looking at the distinct possibility of having to go into long-term care if they were unable to receive meals from us. On behalf of myself and the seniors I serve, thank you so very much! 

And Linda Lagergren from Food for Morgan County, Inc. says:

Every recipient has a story, and the stories are as varied as the recipients. On one day here are some of the stories shared by our recipients. One family found themselves in need after their business was closed down due to a fire. One individual lost a job, and the family has no income. One man, a single parent, is currently receiving emergency food while he seeks employment. A young man has been a caregiver for his mother who recently passed away. Now he has no income, and doesn't know where to start to return to "his own" life. It only takes a moment to listen to these stories and to realize how important it is to have someone to care. The caring is not just in the food that they receive, but in the act of listening, and in the support that they feel as they share their stories and we share our food.