Food bank needs more volunteers after large donation

Thursday, February 7, 2013 | 4:52 p.m. CST; updated 7:07 p.m. CST, Thursday, February 7, 2013
Volunteers help repackage large shipments of food Thursday at the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.

COLUMBIA — Several dozen volunteers, ranging from ages 18 to 90, worked at a furious pace to sort through many boxes of frozen food at the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri on Thursday. Despite their efforts, Food Bank needs more volunteers to repackage the large shipments it received this week for families, communications director Scott Gordon said.

“It’s not heavy work, and it’s not hard work,” Gordon said. “It’s a lot of fun actually.”

The shipment is so large it has filled the storage space available at the warehouse's 4,000 square-foot cold-storage facility. Gordon expects another large donation in the next week, which would then exceed available storage space.

He declined to identify the source of the donated food, citing Food Bank policy.

“From here, it will go to various food pantries and other outlets from the Iowa border to the Ozarks, and from Hannibal to Sedalia,” Gordon said. “We also have a refrigerated truck that serves as a mobile food pantry. It goes to communities where there’s a big need, but there’s no food bank.”

Gordon is confident that volunteers, both new and old, will come out to help. Word of mouth has already brought volunteers to the warehouse.

“I heard that they were looking for lots of help this week, so I came over,” first time volunteer ­­­Mary Russell said. “(Food Bank) is very important to the community. There’s a lot of people who need this help.”

Food Bank needs help most between 1 and 8 p.m. daily, or anytime on Saturday. Gordon said volunteers should come even if they only have a couple hours to spare.

“It’s all for the benefit for people who are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” Gordon said.

Volunteers can call 573-474-1020 or email Melanie Lake at to set up a volunteer time.

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