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Mid-Missouri food bank: food security “is running pretty rampant”

Mid-Missouri food bank: food security “is running pretty rampant”

The food pantry at SERVE INC. of Callaway County in Fulton (file photo courtesy of SERVE website)

A non-profit organization that’s operated for 51 years in mid-Missouri’s Fulton says their food pantry is seeing a massive effect from supply shortage. They’re also seeing an increase in unemployment and utility assistance requests.

SERVE Incorporated’s mission is to organize, facilitate, promote and provide services to meet the needs of Callaway County residents. SERVE outreach coordinator Carol Lewis says food insecurity is “running pretty rampant” in Callaway County. She says residents are requesting more assistance.

“Kids are needing help with school supplies, energy assistance, prescription assistance. In some cases, emergency housing as well,” Lewis says.

Lewis tells 939 the Eagle that they’ve seen a 20 ton shortage of food since last July, along with a 17 percent increase in residents requesting assistance. SERVE Incorporated business manager Marilyn Bartley says many area food pantries are being impacted by the supply shortage. She notes SERVE receives food from the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, but says they’ve been impacted as well.

“They’ve shown a huge decrease in supply. Well, we have funds earmarked when we need to purchase. Now we are seeing a decline in supply in being able to order food in bulk,” Bartley says.

The non-profit is planning a charity Halloween event Saturday evening at 8 at the Fulton Country Club. Lewis says all proceeds from the ball will go towards the organization’s assistance programs. They include SERVES’s food pantry and their Adopt a Family Christmas program, which assists children and families during the holiday season.

Ticket costs are $35, $45 and $55, and you’re encouraged but not required to wear a Halloween costume. You can call SERVE at (573) 642-6388 for additional information.