Area Food Banks Have Seen Increased Demand During The Coronavirus Pandemic Gleaning Is One Of The Ways They Get Fresh Produce Into The Hands Of Those Who Need It
The pandemic is making it harder for families to put food on the table.
In the Kansas City area, pre-pandemic, 300 thousand people were at risk for hunger. But that number is now up by 100 thousand people. That includes 1 and 4 children.
Food distribution rates from hunger relief organizations like Harvesters are up 2 million pounds from this time last year.
And social service agencies like Crosslines Community Outreach in Kansas City, Kansas have doubled the amount of households they are serving at their pantry.
“I think there’s a lot of people that are feeling kind of helpless during this time,” says Sarah Kaldenberg who is the Commodities and Garden Manager at Crosslines.
But she says, “I think gleaning is kind of a way to say like there are solutions. There’s actually food in our country to feed these people.”
Gleaning, the process of harvesting leftover crops, has been around as long as agriculture has. Maybe a machine just didn’t get to it. Maybe it didn’t make enough economic sense to harvest it because of changing markets. Or maybe it was just too small or ugly to try to sell.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic increased food insecurity, gleaning groups like After The Harvest in Kansas City were doing this work a way to address food waste and hunger.
“It’s kind of a no-brainer. It’s a win-win across the board,” says Zachary Callaway, an organizer for the group. But Callaway says that now, the need to glean is even more critical than before.
Information On Food Banks Soup Kitchens And Free Pantries In Kansas City Area
Dozens of food distribution centers, soup kitchens and free emergency food pantries are located across Kansas City and the surrounding counties. Many of them are supported by and work in partnership with Harvesters, which is the number one Community Food Network of the region. As part of this service, Harvesters collects food and groceries from private donations, the government, and local businesses. The food banks and pantries near you, which are listed below will distribute the aid to Kansas City residents who need help.
Below you will find information on where to go and who to call for free help. A toll free referral number is at the bottom of the page as well. There are many different options and resources available in Kansas City, including churches, the local Salvation Army, community action agencies, and other local not for profit organizations and charities. They may have everything from free holiday meals to lunches from a soup kitchen or a Meals on Wheels service for senior citizens.
Most of the organizations listed will be able to provide some type of support, regardless of the applicants income or background. Even if they cant provide you with direct financial assistance or food, they will be able to redirect you towards other government and/or low income programs and services.
Five Loaves Food Ministry Judson Baptist Church8300 State AvenueFood bank phone number: 913-299-8335
Meals Available In Kansas City/raytown/independence
FOOD/GRAB & GO MEALS
3936 Troost Ave. Kansas City, MO 64109Lunch: Monday – Friday 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.Dinner: Monday – Friday 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Independence Boulevard Christian Church606 Gladstone Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64124Dinner sack meals: Monday 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Hope Faith705 Virginia Ave. Kansas City, MO 64106Breakfast: Monday – Saturday 8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.Lunch: Monday-Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Morning Glory Ministries1112 Broadway Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64105Breakfast: Tuesday – Friday 7:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.Lunch: Saturdays & Sundays 12:00 p.m.12:30 p.m.
Neighbor2Neighbor3551 Wabash Kansas City, MO 64109Sack meals: Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
KC Community Kitchen750 The Paseo Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64106Lunch: Monday – Friday. 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Salvation Army3013 E 9th St. Kansas City, MO 64124Lunch: Monday – Thursday: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Thelmas Kitchen3101 Troost Kansas City, MO 64109Lunch: Monday – Friday 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Donate-what-you-can at the To-Go window. ORDER ONLINE and pick up right here at 31st St. & Troost Ave. Healthy, local, seasonal food is used in Box Lunches. Volunteers are used to the maximum extent possible to staff the café, a non-profit. It is an initiative of RECONCILIATION SERVICES and integrated into a continuum of care with embedded case managers referring to RS Social & Mental Health Services.
|Harvesters Mobile Food Distribtuions|
|Emergency Food Distribution Sites|
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Your Guide To Pantries In Kansas City And How You Can Help
In 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that 6.7% of all Americans used a food pantry at some point to help fill the gaps when feeding their households.
Food pantries and kitchens are vital to those who dont qualify for federal food assistance programs, cant stretch their benefits through the month, or just need a little help here and there.
Perhaps the widespread benefits and uses of these services is what led one curiousKC reader to ask: What are the locations of food pantries and how easy are they to access for people without transportation? Or who work multiple jobs?
Put simply, how accessible are pantries, both in terms of location and hours for working people?
In addition to answering our reader question, weve compiled a list of resources for those in need of assistance. And for those of you looking to help out, well let you know the best ways to get involved.
Food Pantries In The Metro Are Seeing More Clients Than Ever But Generous Donations Are Helping Them Meet The Demand They Also Say It Could Be At Least Two Years Before Families Get Back To Where They Were Before The Pandemic Began
The high cost of food nationally has kept Kansas City area food banks busy this holiday season.
Typically we would have families use the pantry about three times per month, said Mary Esselman, the CEO of Operation Breakthrough. We’re seeing families that are maybe using it even more than that, four times a month, some, some, even several times a week.
Esselman said the driving factors are high prices for staples and fuel.
It’s harder to stretch your dollar right now with items such as gas and dairy and meat a little bit higher, she said.
Denise Ogilvy, the chief mission officer for Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, said her organization has also seen higher numbers of people seeking food compared to last year.
One of the things we have started to see is an increase in people coming through the door, also an increase in first-time pantry goers or new people to our pantries, Ogilvy said.
Still, representatives from food banks said theyve been able to keep up.
Ogilvy said donations of money and food have been consistent throughout the year.
If anything, she said, what they need more of is volunteers.
We went from having 1,800 volunteers a month to 300 volunteers in a month when the pandemic hit, and it’s been very slow to grow that back, she said.
Ogilvy and others at food pantries across the metro stressed that the factors drawing more individuals and families to their services wont end when the holidays are over.
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Three Ways How You Can Help
Mae said one of the best ways to get involved is to volunteer, not only because the charitable sector needs volunteers, but because of the associated learning opportunities.
I think when people have a chance to actually see face to face whats going on it really helps you kind of understand that, hey, the stereotypes that we have the welfare queen idea is incredibly wrong, Mae said.
Sue Fenske, executive director of Nourish KC, said the 25-30 volunteers she sees a day are vital to the Kansas City Community Kitchens mission and they also create a sense of community at the dine-in kitchen.
Here, volunteers not only serve, but also sit down and eat lunch with the visitors.
So our volunteers sit at a table with someone that maybe they wouldnt ordinarily meet, Fenske said. I think its been a really eye-opening experience for them to realize that everyone that they meet isnt someone other. Theyre just people It just builds a sense of community here in a way that ordinarily dont have an opportunity to experience.
Thats direct feedback Fenske gets from her volunteers who come back again and again.
Nourish KC can also facilitate groups of volunteers for office events, families or community groups looking to give back.
Another way to volunteer, and get the whole family involved, is to partake in a farm gleaning with After the Harvest. Gleaning is the process of picking the food out of the fields that gets left behind during a farmers harvest.
Make A Financial Pledge For 2023 To Support St Pauls
Pledges for our 2023 Stewardship Campaign are still being collected. Read more about our fall pledge campaign by clicking here.
Did you know can both fill out a pledge form and set up online giving payments to fulfill that pledge by ?
Want to get involved? Click HERE.
Food insecurity is a problem in our community. We encourage anyone who needs food to stop by the Pantry during its hours of operation, Tuesdays and Fridays 10:00 a.m. to noon, and Wednesdays 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Pantry door is located on the south side of the church building, closest to Walnut Street. Distributions through The Emergency Food Assistance Program are made on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 9:00 to noon.
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Food Is A Basic Human Right
Nutritious food is a basic need, a human right. Its the most basic building block for developing strong individuals, families, and communities. Good food nourishes both the body and mind. Without it, people cant take part in society in a meaningful way. Its no longer good enough just to fill bellies.
Tax Benefits For Donating Food
Individuals / Organizations: We cannot help you to calculate the value of any donations made for tax purposes. We can, and will happily issue you a receipt for the total pounds of donations made that you can take to your tax preparer who can advise you on how you may be able to value and deduct your donation on your taxes.
Grocery Stores / Food Manufacturers / Farmers: We cannot help you to calculate the value of any donations made for tax purposes. However, there is a generous tax credit that may be available to you which you can read more about here and here.
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What Documents Do I Need To Bring To My Appointment
Before your appointment, please gather the following documents. All documents must be provided before we are able to provide you with services. Appointments will be rescheduled if you are unable to produce the needed documentation.
Online Fund Drives In Place Of Traditional Food Drives
If youd rather not collect and haul around food, you can always do an online food drive. With our buying power, we are able to stretch your dollar farther and get more food than you can at the local grocery store.
Online fund drives are particularly good for groups or organizations that are not all in the same place, or for those who want to promote their fund drive online through social media. We can prepare a customized online donation page for your fund drive, complete with any graphics and wording to tie it in with your campaign.
If youre interested in doing one of these fun online food drives, please get in touch with our to set one up.
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What Does The Food Pantry Provide
Our food pantries provide shelf stable food items such as canned meat, canned vegetables, pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, jelly, cereal and canned fruit.
The food pantries often receive hygiene donations and when available we may provide toilet paper, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, diapers, feminine hygiene products, etc.
Both food and hygiene items are subject to change. Our food pantries rely heavily on community donations.
The Busiest Places In Kansas City This Holiday May Be Our Food Banks
Used to be that Philip Hooser, a Kansas City performer and writer, witnessed the performing arts as unifying the community.
Hooser hasnt worked since his foot was amputated last year after complications from diabetes. That, coupled with the nearly complete shutdown of Kansas City’s performing arts because of the pandemic, led him to get food and other necessities from the Theatre Community Fund of Kansas City, currently being housed in the Unicorn Theatre.
Receiving food is one thing, Hooser says. But witnessing how the organization has unified people brings tears.
Its usually Hey, lets put on a show!,” Hooser says. “Now its Hey, lets keep people alive. Lets keep people hoping.
The confluence of the pandemic, the accompanying economic crisis, social unrest and the holidays is testing the resilience of local food banks and pantries. Established organizations and some newer ones are working harder to meet those needs.
Before COVID, we would do roughly four million pounds per month, said Brad Martin, Harvesters director of operations. But last month we came in at over seven million pounds for the first time ever.
While Harvesters has been keeping up with the increased demand and the large volume required to service its many agencies, other food pantries are focused on a smaller scale.
Some organizations, like Jewish Family Services , offer more than food. JFS can connect clients to counseling, health care, or other services.
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Pantry Gives More Than Food: Individuals Receive Hope And Sustenance
The JFS Food Pantry, with locations in Overland Park, KS and Kansas City, MO, is the communitys response to the growing need for food assistance in Kansas City.
The struggle against hunger and food insecurity continues to grow. In the past year, we have more than doubled the number of families served each month to more than 800 families. JFS distributes food each month to singles, families and older adults. Twenty-five percent of the people served are children under the age of 18. JFS assists people from all walks of life, regardless of religion.
The pantries offer both VAAD-supervised kosher and non-kosher food, with staples such as grains, dairy, protein, fresh fruits and vegetables. Personal care and household items round out the grocery bags since most of those items are not covered by governmental assistance .
Food for cats and dogs is available from our very own Jasmines Corner so pet owners dont have to forgo eating themselves in order to keep their beloved pets fed. Last year 1,275 pets received food from the pantry.
What Are The Qualifications To Receive Food Pantry
- Must be a Johnson County resident.
- Must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines and provide income verification from the previous 30 days. Aging and Human Services utilizes total gross income for the household which includes wages, Social Security, unemployment, TANF and child support.
- Must provide photo IDs for members 18+ in the household.
- Must provide Social Security cards for all members of the household.
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Prckc Pet Food Pantry: Here To Help When Youre Struggling To Feed Your Pets
When dog and cat owners in Kansas City need help feeding their pets, they can turn to PRCKC.
With the help of generous donors, community partners and companies, were able to provide food for thousands of pets each year. In fact, through July of 2020, weve distributed over 50 tons of pet food to individuals, shelters, rescues and churches throughout the midwest.
We can do this because of the generosity of the big-hearted people and organizations in our community. They understand as we do that a family shouldnt have to forego the love of a pet because they struggle to buy food from time to time.
Volunteer Terms Of Service
Waiver of LiabilityBy volunteering at the Kansas Food Bank, you are assuming all risk of injury associated with your volunteer participation on the premises of the Food Bank or Food Bank activities conducted off-site. You are not considered an employee of the Food Bank and are not, therefore, covered by the Food Banks workers compensation insurance. By volunteering, you also release the Food Bank and its representatives, sponsors, and supervisors from any and all claims, causes of action, and liability arising from or relating to your activities as a volunteer. You agree to comply with all posted safety instructions and follow the directions provided by Food Bank staff and assigned supervisors. Firearms and weapons are not permitted on Food Bank premises.
By entering our premise, you agree that the Food Bank and its representatives may take photographs, videos, and other images of you, and you consent to the Food Banks use of the photographs, videos, and other images taken or produced. The Food Bank may use those items in fundraising, for marketing and promotional purposes, and in electronic media for an unlimited time period, and you will not be entitled to receive any compensation, payment, royalty or other remuneration from the Food Bank.
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