SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - What's the holiday season without a giving spirit?
The SEMO Food Bank ships supplies to 16 different counties. It's seen huge growth in the past five years, but the need has gone up as well.
Sikeston Food Pantry is one organization that relies on those supplies and donations to survive.
"Can't feed them all, but we can sure feed a lot of them," said volunteer James Roth.
During the holiday season there are usually even more mouths to feed. And it takes a huge effort by local food pantries to meet those needs.
"I kind of look forward to it if you want to know the truth about it," Roth said. "We work hard. Man we work awful hard. You have no idea."
To give you an idea of just how hard they work, the Sikeston Food Pantry alone fed more than 550 people last month. In the past few weeks they've raised more than 15,000 pounds of food. And all that food then has to be sorted and stored.
"But I do enjoy meeting these folks. It's enjoyable. It really is and after a couple years of this, see they all know you. And it's really a pleasure," Roth said.
"This is a good place to work. It really is," said volunteer and food pantry shopper Trevya Choamadrid. "Everybody's so happy. You meet so many interesting people."
Both Roth and Choamadrid once needed a little help and they want to give back some of what they got. So, they volunteer every week.
"Cause I can remember the time I needed to come to the food pantry and they were there for me. Now I'm here for them," Roth said.
"I was just so excited and I really appreciated so much what they had done that day because at the time I was really in need of a little groceries," Choamadrid said. "And I just thought man how nice is that. And I had heard about people volunteering and I thought well that's a place I would love to volunteer at."
James said it's food for his soul.
Maybe a little something extra to be thankful for this holiday.
"You know sometimes we just don't feel thankful in life and we just don't appreciate things and people enough. And this has really taught me how to really be thankful. And the meaning of giving back and helping people," Choamadrid said.
The Sikeston Food Pantry is just one of many organizations stepping up to help during this season.