MINER, Mo. (KFVS) - The SEMO Food Bank just closed out the most challenging year they have ever faced before due to the COVID pandemic.
“We had an increased number of people who needed food assistance,” Chief Advancement Officer Lisa Church said. “It was at a time when that was being seen nationwide and groceries were somewhat hard to come by because stores were also having a hard time keeping food on the shelves.”
The food bank distributed 16,351,621 pounds of food throughout the year of 2020.
That was an increase of over 3 million pounds over the previous year.
“I can’t say enough good things about our staff who really stepped up. We didn’t make any changes in staff but we distributed a lot more food,” Church said. “The volunteer groups that we have had, like the National Guard, have been phenomenal.”
Church said the need is going to continue to stay relatively high.
“It’s tapered off a little bit,” Church said. “We’re still probably feeding about 40 percent more people than what we did pre-pandemic. So for us, that means we’ve gone to providing food from 60,000 people per month to 80,000 or 90,000 people per month.”
Church said they distributed a lot of food around the holidays as well.
She said now that the winter months are in full swing and the holidays are over, they are still distributing food to the 16 county area food agencies.
“That is really a person’s first line of defense, whenever they need food assistance, is to find their local pantry and then visit it on a monthly basis,” Church said.
For more information, go to semofoodbank.org or call their office at 573-471-1818.