Truck problems plague southwest Missouri food pantry

Wednesday, November 14, 2012 | 8:02 a.m. CST; updated 2:41 p.m. CST, Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WARSAW — A southwest Missouri food pantry run entirely by volunteers is in danger of closing before Thanksgiving because of an unexpected vehicle repair bill.

The Benton County Food Pantry in Warsaw drives a 24-foot truck to Columbia every week to pick up 21,000 pounds of food. But the engine on the truck is no longer working, leaving the pantry shelves nearly empty.

The pantry serves 1,100 families a month. Pantry manager Debbie Swerline said volunteers will have to start turning people away by Friday if the situation doesn't improve.

KYTV-TV reported that repair costs for the truck could top $5,000.

The U.S. Census Bureau says about one in five families in Benton County live below the poverty line.

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