QUINCY (WGEM) — The state of Missouri’s decision to forego take-out summer meals for pantries is having a lasting effect.
Those who received food had to eat where it was offered, a move that local pantry officials say snowballed into a crushing increase in demand for pantry services in the area.
Douglass Community Services officials in Hannibal said the move — combined with inflation and the end of free school breakfast and lunch programs — has created a perfect storm that is putting pressure on their custody. -to eat.
Community outreach coordinator Chandra McBride said families decided it would be much more convenient to get food from their pantry, instead of eating take-out meals on site.
She said that led them to add 60 new customers in the last month alone, and they expect that number to grow.
McBride said they normally serve around 400 customers per month. With the added pressure during the summer, she said donations were no longer keeping up with the demand.
“We absolutely have to watch how much we distribute,” she said. “It would be nice to distribute two or three cans of soup or green beans, but with the lack of supply we have to limit the amount we distribute.”
They had to reduce the amount of food they could give from five days of food to three days of food.
McBride said now even regional food banks are struggling. She says she will make requests for food pallets, but she will get less than they asked for.
Hannibal resident Elizabeth Stengel said she is on a fixed income and with inflation, food pantries are a way for her to get the food she needs. . She said she noticed that Hannibal’s pantries were strained by inflation and the demand for food, but lacked donations.
“More communities and more people need to become aware of what is happening,” she said. “They see what they want to see and when they want to see it and other than that they’re oblivious.”
Douglass officials said a lack of donations could force them to cut back on their pantry hours, which may limit the number of people they can help. Officials said they were working to get donations so they wouldn’t have to go down that route.
if you are interested in donating food or money to Douglass Community Services, you can contact Douglass Community Services at (573) 221-3892. You can also drop by 711 Grand View Avenue or their Broadway office at 909 Broadway Avenue.
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. decision of meals summer state continues to affect pantry northeast missouri