Several years ago United Way of Central Missouri and The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri began a conversation about how to address the disparity between the level of poverty and the amount of food distributed to hungry people in Cole County. In 2015 United Way of Central Missouri’s Board of Directors approved the formation of the Bold Idea Committee to study this critical need to feed more hungry people to supplement the dedicated efforts of the existing food pantries. The Bold Idea Committee worked in partnership with community stakeholders, and in December of 2016 United Way of Central Missouri presented a mobile pantry to The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri. The United Way of Central Missouri Foundation provided the financial support to purchase the truck so The Food Bank can distribute food to pockets of poverty in our community, which will also address the transportation barrier that many low-income families face.
The United Way of Central Missouri Foundation was formed in 2003 not to compete with the United Way of Central Missouri, but to provide a permanent, sustainable avenue of support for the future of the United Way through gifts, bequests and planned giving. The Foundation’s goal is also to help the United Way with expenses that fall outside of the typical agency funding which is what the United Way’s campaigns funds are primarily utilized for. The Foundation Board members agreed the new mobile pantry truck would address a critical, emergent need in this community and would be a powerful and appropriate opportunity to impact the community with United Way of Central Missouri Foundation funds. “The Foundation’s goal and challenge is to continue to ensure the United Way of Central Missouri remains a vibrant resource in our community for future generations so we can address needs such as this today and in the future. I would encourage all United Way supporters to consider the United Way of Central Missouri Foundation for their planned giving. A planned gift will enrich the future quality of life for family, friends, and our community. It is a legacy to be proud of and a gift that blesses others today and beyond,” said Phil Freeman, United Way of Central Missouri Foundation Board President.
In addition to the critical support from the United Way of Central Missouri Foundation, the tireless efforts and passion of many volunteers and businesses helped this Bold Idea come to fruition, including the Bold Idea Committee, the United Way of Central Missouri Board, The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri, local food pantry leaders, Luetkemeyer Signs, and Scheppers International Truck Center.
Now it will take the community working together to provide the volunteer efforts for the five mobile food pantry locations which are as follows:
• Capital West Christian Church
• Jefferson City Day Care Center
• Jefferson City YMCA - Firley Location
• St. Martin’s Catholic Church
• Trinity Lutheran Church
If you or your business would like to volunteer to help with a mobile pantry, contact the United Way office at 573-636-4100.
This mobile pantry will make it possible to increase food distribution in Cole County by over one million pounds each year to fight hunger and food insecurity for our neighbors, families and friends in need. United Way of Central Missouri is proud and grateful to our caring, compassionate community for helping us Share Food and Bring Hope!