May 2017
 As the school year comes to an end, The Food Bank is beginning to raise the funding needed to continue serving 7,500 children weekly during the 2017-18 school year. Spectrum Studios generously supported our efforts by filming an educational video about the need across our 32-county service area. Please take a moment to hear from Executive Director Lindsay Young Lopez about how Buddy Packs help fill the gap on weekends when children do not have access to free or reduced-price lunch.
"The Buddy Pack program helps by being kind and letting us have the food." 
                                         - Buddy Pack Recipient, Macon County
Volunteer Spotlight
Photo courtesy of Timothy Tai/Columbia Daily Tribune
Max and Sherry Wachter, who oversee Cargill Cares Food Pantry, a partner agency in Moniteau County, received this year's Columbia Daily Tribune Individual Volunteer of the Year award as part of the Hero Awards program. The couple volunteered 2,862 hours last year to help serve 317 families. Congratulations, Max and Sherry! Read the story here.
Every Thursday morning, Glennis Lannert, Jean Brooks and Kay Clementz can be found in The Food Bank's employee break room cutting labels for other volunteers to use when they repackage bulk foods. The trio has been coming since 2011 and has been responsible for hundreds of thousands of labels used in the Volunteer Room. The women were recognized as the April Volunteers of the Month with a celebration and reception. Their names have now been added to the Volunteer Hall of Fame plaque. 
Donor Spotlight
The Optimist Club of Columbia - Downtown presented a $5,000 award to The Food Bank last month. The funding will be used to help fund Buddy Packs in Columbia. Pictured, from left, are Max Miller, Sid Sullivan, Charlie Langreder, Mary Dewey, Harold Rove, Jim Murphy, Ed Musterman, Larry Fick, Phyllis Nichols and Carl Scott. The Downtown Optimist Club, an affiliate of Optimist International, has a focus on development of youth. The gift is the equivalent of more than 27 Buddy Packs every week for an entire school year.
Samaritan Hospital in Macon County recently contributed $1,000 to The Food Bank's Buddy Pack program there following a unique fundraiser. Staff members auctioned off special parking spots in exchange for donations. Pictured, from left, are Tom Yates, Jeff Maloney, Carolyne Brown, Stacey Brown, children's programs coordinator at The Food Bank, Traci Russ, Debbie Albright and Ken Smith, who came up with the idea.
Staff Spotlight
Martha Brendel joined The Food Bank as grants coordinator last year. In the position, she oversees grant applications and requirements. 

Prior to The Food Bank, Martha worked as events coordinator, a writer and an editor at the University of Missouri System and the MU campus.

She and her husband, Bob, have two sons in college and a daughter in high school.

Outside of work, she enjoys being active and visiting the beach when possible.
We collect testimonials from partner pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other agencies. This story comes from The Help Center in Mexico about our CSFP program, which provides boxes of nutritional food specifically selected with seniors in mind.

While doing home visits signing up seniors for CSFP we encountered many people who were so surprised and grateful for the service we were offering them. We heard more than once that they feel trapped in their home with no transportation and no money left over to do anything and to have someone willing to bring food to their home and check in on them while they're there was so welcome and appreciated. Many of our seniors really do feel left out and forgotten about and this program will make their life just a little better. 

A second testimonial comes from New Beginnings Church of Christ in Callaway County:

A grandmother raising grandkids lost her son-in-law due to a construction accident and said if it wasn't for her food pantry family, she didn't know how she could have gotten through the tragedy.