Monroe County NECAC Opens Daily Food Pantry
PARIS, Mo. (WGEM) – More rural households are facing food insecurity across the country, with 12% struggling to put food on the table in 2020.
A Monroe County NECAC food pantry opened on Friday to address growing hunger concerns.
Monroe County residents can purchase canned vegetables, pasta and other food items for free at 314 North Washington Street in Paris.
NECAC Services Coordinator Shelby DeOrnellis opened the pantry because she noticed a growing need in the community.
“The pandemic, the cost of living, just a bit of everything is contributing to it, and again, this time of year is tough. Utilities may be higher,” DeOrnellis said.
Previously, the county had a food pantry that was only open once a month.
Pantry volunteer and nurse Kim Mitchell said a daily pantry was a long time coming.
“It allows parents, patients to have an alternate route that you know mid-month, later in the month, before the next pantry,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell said she’s seen patients who don’t get a proper diet because they can’t afford it, so the pantry will help.
“We know that if they have better nutrition and they have food on the table, they’ll feel a little better as well,” Mitchell said.
DeOrnellis encourages the community to step up and donate. They will accept all non-refrigerated food items.
“Everybody knows their neighbor and you might not realize he’s in trouble,” DeOrnellis said.
Mitchell is already planning to help his local 4-H chapter.
“It’s something we love to do is do local fundraisers, and it’s something that these kids can help out and give back to their community as well,” Mitchell said.
If you want to grab some food from the pantry, NECAC is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They prefer that you reside in Monroe County.
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