October 18, 2001

Regional Food Bank Faced With Increasing Demand

The events of September 11th not only killed thousands of people and destroyed billions of dollars worth of property. It changed the face of hunger and need in the United States. Locally, it has placed the Central Missouri Food Bank in an incredibly difficult spot - not enough food coupled with a rapidly increasing need.

"Food supplies right now are very low," stated Peggy Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Central Missouri Food Bank. "Millions of pounds of food that are normally available throughout the country for hunger relief have been redirected to New York and Washington. In addition, some very large food companies have changed their production processes which has reduced the amount of surplus food available. Couple that with a faltering economy, plant closings and layoffs and the demand for assistance is incredibly high."

The food bank has been doing everything it can to keep up with the need. So far this year they have distributed more than 10 million pounds of food surpassing last year's total. "We still have our two biggest months looming ahead," Kirkpatrick said.

The Central Missouri Food Bank is a regional network providing disaster and hunger relief through 110 food pantries, shelters for the homeless and abused, soup kitchens, children's programs and senior programs in 31 central and northeastern Missouri counties. In Scotland County, CMFB distributes food to Northeast Community Action Agency Outreach Center.

There are a number of ways people can help. The Great Rivers Council of Boy Scouts will do Scouting for Food the week of October 27 - November 3. All food collected in a community will be distributed to food pantries affiliated with Central Missouri Food Bank. In addition, businesses, organizations and churches who traditionally do a food drive during the holidays can do one early to help hunger relief agencies keep pace with the need.

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