March 18, 2010

Food Pantry Building Fund Surpasses $15,000 Mark On Road to New Facility

Overflowing is not a good word for those living close to a river in the springtime of the year. It is a good word when it describes the conditions at the Scotland County Food Pantry.

Recent changes in scheduling and delivery made it possible to receive a truckload of goods from the Central Missouri Food Bank in Columbia, MO. Before those changes, Scotland County shared the space on a semi-truck and the load was split with another county.

The February and March deliveries to the Food Pantry have created overflowing conditions. The volunteers unloading the truck and preparing for the monthly distribution of food are challenged to find enough freezer, cooler and floor space for the abundance of items. The February load was creatively repackaged to make everything fit under the roof of the Food Pantry. The March load overflowed the space on distribution day creating an entire wall of goods outside the Food Pantry building.

The active member churches of the Scotland County Ministerial Alliance (SCMA) are excited about the plans to erect a new facility at the current location of the Food Pantry. The SCMA is also encouraged at the show of support from congregations and individuals who have already begun to contribute financially to the project.

Initial drawings have been made and estimates for a 40 x 60 steel building have been gathered. A new walk-in freezer and walk in-cooler have been offered to the project and a building fund has been established. The estimates for the total cost of the facility is $60,000. A steel building can be purchased, erected and a concrete floor can be put in place for $25,000. The members of the SCMA agreed to begin this first step of replacing the current facility when the building fund reaches that amount.

Other phases will include: insulating, wiring, installing a heating system and bathroom, adding fixtures, shelving and miscellaneous needs to finish the interior. These projects will be accomplished as funds permit.

Since the first offerings were received at the 2009 community Thanksgiving service, the building fund has grown to over $15,000.

We are only $10,000 away from beginning construction, said SCMA member Jack Sumption of the First Christian Church. An offering goal of $5,000 has been set for the Community Good Friday service to be held at the Memphis First United Methodist Church on April 2.

SCMA members point out the many benefits from the investment being made in building a larger facility for the Food Pantry. More food may be obtained. The space provided by a walk in freezer and cooler will provide for more meat, dairy, fresh vegetables and fruit. Additional floor space and the ability to place pallets directly into the building will help the volunteers. Having the food under roof will be a benefit when delivery and distribution takes place during inclement weather. Clients at the Food Pantry will be able to shop much more easily and efficiently.

The S.C.M.A. will be contacting community organizations soon to seek additional funding so that the construction may begin.

We appreciate the support of congregations and individuals from Scotland County and beyond, said Sumption.

If you would like to make a contribution to the SCMA building fund, you may do so by designating your offering through your local church. You may also send donations directly to the SCMA at P.O. Box 264 Memphis, MO. 63555.

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