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Food pantries play a vital role in distributing food to needy families in Harvesters’ 26-county region. This year, two pantries received recognition in Harvesters’ Circle of Hope awards for their innovative programs.
I Care, Inc., Topeka, Kan., was formed in 1972 by churches in southeast Topeka to help with hunger and poverty issues in the area. Their pantry serves up to 500 families every month and their numbers have increased by 265 percent in the past five years. A year ago they became a “client choice” pantry, allowing clients to select the food items they wanted. In addition, I Care, Inc. created a “Healthy Pantry” by painting the food room after MyPlate and rearranging the food accordingly. This has made it easier for guests to make better food choices.
University of Central Missouri Campus Cupboard, Warrensburg, Mo., helps students and staff of its campus. Three years ago, UCM officials saw that students and university staff were having a hard time getting to local pantries. Thus the UCM Campus Cupboard was born. This unique pantry caters to students and staff and set hours that would coincide with both class and shift changes. The first year, the pantry cared for 67 families, the second year, 292 families and is now serving 522 families. The Campus Cupboard has made it possible for students and staff to be better prepared in class and at work when they don’t have to worry if they will have a meal that day.
Here are their stories – I Care, Inc. and UCM Campus Cupboard.
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