Shrine Club Rallies To Help Food Pantry

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Several Warsaw Shrine Club members were talking recently about the tight budget that the Benton County Food Bank is under during the fourth quarter of each year. They decided to help by having a food drive to stock the shelves ahead of the end of the year and take off some of the pressure food bank volunteers experience while trying to feed many local residents.  
“As of Monday, July 23, we have food stacked on the Shrine Club stage that is five feet high and five feet deep, and have collected $840 in cash,” said Chuck Allcorn, organizer of the food drive. “Value of the collected food is presently about $900. The food drive started at the beginning of July and will conclude on July 27.”
Allcorn said that many donations were received in six cans that were located around town, and that all fraternal organizations in town participated with monetary donations. G & W Foods was also able to give a good price on canned goods that were purchased.
“The community became involved and the Shrine Club served as the drop-off point,” said Allcorn.
The Benton County Food Bank has been serving local residents since 2001. It provides free food for 1,200 to 1,500 families each month, breaking down to 2,300 to 2,500 individuals. It also provides senior boxes with juice, cereal, fruit, vegetables, milk, beans, peanut butter or other sources of protein; and provides 25 veteran boxes a month. 
“The number of clients fluctuates from time to time because some people move out of the area, they might die or move in with someone else to save money,” said Jeannie Arnold, manager of the food bank.”
When asked if there were certain staple items that were needed more than others, Arnold said that they needed anything that can be found in a grocery store.  
The food bank receives free donations from the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, a regional disaster and hunger relief network that acquires and distributes millions of pounds of food annually to partner agencies across a 32-county area. This regional food bank works with 140 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other agencies to ensure food gets into the hands of those who need it most. In 2017, it shipped 1,061,504 pounds of food to the Benton County Food Bank and Soup & More Community Kitchen. The organization also distributes Buddy Packs on Fridays to children who received free or reduced price lunches at schools.
The Benton County Food Bank is located at 121 Tower Drive, in Warsaw. It is open Monday through Thursday, from 9 AM to 12 PM, and 1 to 3 PM. Those who would like to become one of its dedicated volunteers may call Jeannie Arnold at 660-428-3500 to get an application.