Serving Cooper and southern Howard Counties, the Neighbors Helping Neighbors food pantry continues to help local families in need. According to the pantry, over 100 community families are struggling to feed their children as summer vacation enters its midway point.
Though the Concerned Citizens for the Black Community does have a generous feeding program during this time of year – when schools are retired from normal sessions – many local children, along with their families, are unable to afford a nutritious meal. The traditional school-year provides breakfast and lunch programs, but during the summer, those meals become the responsibility of parents and guardians.
"We get food from the Central Missouri Food Bank and from personal donations that come in," said Dianna Singer, NHN Board Secretary.
The pantry, privately funded, depends on community assistance and generosity.
"We're always looking for volunteers," said Singer.
A recent United States Postal Service's Stamp Out Hunger drive took in almost 6,500 pounds of food and staples and more than $700 in cash. The drive is an annual event and was the USPS' 20th thus far.
A typical school-year sees NHN serve more than 200 families – approximately 600 people – per month. Of that count, over 150 of those are children. A ministerial alliance of area churches routinely participates in the stocking of supplies and the raising of funds.
"In our NHN group, we have about 70 people that we can call on to help. Of those 70, about 25 or 30 are consistent. This is volunteer-oriented, and we'll take any help we can get," said Singer.
If a work schedule will not allow you to volunteer, NHN reminds readers that monetary and staple donations are all tax-deductible. Donations of money can be mailed directly to the pantry's distribution center, or funds can be directly withdrawn from a donor's checking account, if they wish.
Canned goods, along with other non-perishables are sought. Diapers, multivitamins and soap are examples of other non-food items that are needed.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors is located at 412 East High Street in Boonville.
The distribution center will be open to qualified families starting the first full week of the month on the 1st Tuesday 7:30 – 10:30 a.m., 2nd Thursday 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. & 3rd Saturday 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. of each month. For more information call 660-537-9750 or visit NHN website www.NHNFP.com.