Food Pantry Feud
By: Wes Wallace
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - It's a church outreach project set up to give food at a reduced cost to families in need, but Cape Girardeau city zoning laws prohibit the church from selling food.
Now the Christ Church of the Heartland must find a way to keep their meal mission going.
"We want to help people, that's what we're about here," said Pastor Zach Strong.
However, some of that help recently hit a snag.
"It's very frustrating to the be honest, because it keeps us in a spot of the unknown," said Strong.
Once a month Strong and church volunteers sell boxes of food at a discounted price to anyone who shows up. Problem is, the church is located in a residential zoned area not commercial, so Cape Girardeau city ordinances prohibit any type of financial or business transaction.
Pastor Strong admits the Angel Food Network gives his church a one dollar donation for every box of food sold, but he says that money doesn't cover the expense of the program.
"We gain nothing from it. We're a non-profit organization. As a matter of fact, we go in the hole because I have to rent freezer trucks to do this," Strong said.
The church will get to voice its concern once again on November 5th at a public hearing to try and get a special use permit to sell groceries.