Increased Food Prices Means More Patrons at Central Pantry

3 years 1 week 3 days ago August 15, 2013 Aug 15, 2013 Thursday, August 15 2013 Thursday, August 15, 2013 5:28:00 AM CDT in News
By: Megan Murphy, KOMU 8 Anchor

COLUMBIA - From January to June of this year, Central Pantry, a service of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, has seen a 12 percent increase in clients. Food Bank officials say almost 8,000 more people have walked through the pantry doors than the same time period last year.

In the line outside Central Pantry, there are nurses and hairdressers; cashiers and EMTs; hotel workers and gas station attendants. A retired University of Missouri employee named Barbara said, "Money is tight these days. This helps me out with groceries and stuff."

One local EMT said, "We can't really afford daycare. I work full-time while my fiancé works part-time.

The people in the line are the working poor and some standing in it proclaimed the time between paychecks is the hardest.

Sean Ross has been the coordinator for Central Pantry for the past nine years. He sees the clientele every day and said, "The stereotype is wrong. These are working people, they're trying, they're trying to make it."

In the line you'll also find parents who have growing, constantly hungry, babies.
Brandy, mother of two, said, "It is hard with only one income right now, we can't give them everything they need or can't give them what they want."  

Amanda, a local gas station attendant and mother, said, "We make too much for the state, but when it comes down to our car payment, our electric and our rent, we just don't make enough to feed our kid like normal people should so we come here."

The line does not discriminate; it's filled with the working poor. It doesn't care where you've been; it only knows where you're going.

When the doors finally open at the pantry, worn shoes shuffle across the pavement and the line bends around the corner to find help inside.

Help in the form of water bottles and canned foods waits to be plucked from the pantry shelves. The line is full because they're not.

If we're honest with ourselves, a lot of us are one paycheck away from the line. One accident, one extra medical bill, one illness away from standing on the cracked sidewalk of Central Pantry.

"Stereotype is they just want a handout, working the system all that kind of stuff. That's not true at all," Ross said.

Most pantry patrons only fill their carts with what they need. These days, the Food Bank is offering more fresh foods than ever before. So far this year, 30 percent of the food it's distributed to patrons has been in the form of fresh fruits and veggies. Just a few years ago, the percentage was almost zero; it was mainly bananas and apples.

The people walking these aisles of Central Pantry are living on the razor's edge of making it and not making it; the fine line between frustrated and grateful. In the center of that line is the pantry.

"We're here to help people like that," Ross said.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The Central Chapter of Empower Missouri and guests gathered to talk about why it is in everybody's... More >>
1 hour ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 8:50:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A celebrity basketball game was just one part of the first night of the “Back to School Explosion”... More >>
2 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 7:51:00 PM CDT in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — A man who drove 115 mph and used marijuana before a deadly suburban Kansas City crash has... More >>
2 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 7:30:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - As coaches and players conduct walk-throughs in preparation for Friday night football, many are also checking helmets after... More >>
3 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 6:33:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The results of a Missouri audit released Thursday show ther e's a nearly $600 million backlog of... More >>
3 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 6:25:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Many of the advertising signs posted on utility poles or medians in Columbia are illegal. A new volunteer... More >>
3 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 6:23:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri judge is blocking the state public defender director from appointing Gov. Jay Nixon to... More >>
4 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 5:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Transportation is celebrating the completion of the I-70 bridges project. The $17.5 million... More >>
4 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 5:19:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Voluntary Action Center still has window units from Columbia Water and Light that can be exchanged for... More >>
5 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 5:00:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The re-opening of a part of the MKT Trail has been delayed two months. The Flat Branch... More >>
5 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 4:56:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Agribusiness Archer Daniels Midland has settled a lawsuit over claims the company was behind a now-imprisoned... More >>
5 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 4:53:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Columbia man was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for an investment fraud scheme. ... More >>
5 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 4:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau plans to contribute $1 million toward a new indoor sports facility in... More >>
6 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 3:33:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Top military officials ga thered at the Missouri Capitol to mark the retirement of a Missouri... More >>
6 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 3:31:56 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A car collision caused an SUV to flip onto its side on College Avenue Thursday. A truck... More >>
6 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 3:16:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri School of Journalism announced a new diversity program Thursday. The plan is called the "Student... More >>
7 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 2:25:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – A spike in traffic deaths is correlated to low gas prices nationwide and especially in Missouri, according to... More >>
8 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 1:49:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities have identified a man whose body was found in the Mississippi River at St. Louis.... More >>
8 hours ago August 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016 Thursday, August 25 2016 Thursday, August 25, 2016 1:44:20 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 76°
10pm 78°
11pm 76°
12am 71°
1am 70°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
10:00p
Cougar Town
10:30p
Cougar Town
11:00p
Raising Hope

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
NFL Preseason Football
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Beauty and the Beast
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld