No Hunger Food Pantry in Ravenswood hosted an event recently to celebrate 10 years of serving Jackson County.
The event also served as a fundraiser and featured a hot dog sale, bounce houses, face-painting and other attractions.
“We just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has helped us, and also to do our yearly fundraiser along with it,” said Director Elizabeth Stewart. “Everything for the fundraiser was donated.”
The pantry operates 100 percent on donations and serves an average of 2,500 to 3,000 families in Jackson County a year, Stewart said. The pantry serves 7,500 to 8,000 individuals a year, with the most common age range being 18-59, she said.
“Our clientele has picked up greatly and our donations have slacked off over the past couple of years,” she said.
The pantry’s main goal is to help people “get by” on a monthly basis by providing food when other means fall short. This mainly involves helping people whose Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits don’t quite cover their needs.
“We work somewhat in connection with the SNAP program. We’re really designed to run from the time their SNAP benefits run out to when they get them again, and for people who live paycheck to paycheck as well,” Stewart said.
No Hunger Food Pantry receives food donations from numerous sources, ranging from the USDA to Walmart.
“We do peanut butter, jelly, rice, green beans, corn, pinto beans, cornbread, spaghetti and pasta, just kind of the staples to make sure people have enough to eat to get through the month,” Stewart said.
There are permanent donations sites for the Food Pantry at the Ravenswood Library and River Valley health Center.
“A lot of what we get item-wise comes from different church groups scattered across the area,” Stewart said.
No Hunger Food Pantry is governed by an 11-member board of directors made up of community members from all walks of life, said board member and treasurer Carol Carter.
The pantry has about a dozen volunteers who help with the cause.
The pantry is open Mondays and Fridays from 11 a.m-4 p.m. Stewart is typically in the office from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays and Fridays for people who would like to donate or help out.
Items to donate include any staple foods, particularly canned food and soups.
There are some requirements to receive assistance. Clients have to be from Jackson County and, generally, have to fall into the USDA guidelines for poverty. Anyone who receives SNAP benefits is automatically eligible.
No Hunger Food Pantry is located at 231 Walnut Street in Ravenswood. The phone number is 304-512-7309 and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.