Local food pantry has long Christmas wish list

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Makinsey and Karliegh Connor from the Northeast Vernon County student council carry boxes to the loading dock at the Community Outreach Friday afternoon.

By Steve Moyer

Nevada Daily Mail

Barbara Long, Community Outreach director, is thankful for what the community has done but says the need is still great.

Ralph Pokorny/Daily Mail Representatives of Northeast Vernon County schools recently delivered several boxes of food to Community Outreach, Nevada. The items donated were gathered in a food drive at the school.

"The food pantry is grateful for what we have but we could always use more," Long said. "This is a great community with a lot of generous people, and that's just what we need now."

Long said that Community Outreach is a central resource for people wanting to sign-up for a food basket for several groups.

"We're preparing for Christmas food and toy sign-ups," Long said. "We try to keep people signing up here in one place so one family doesn't get several baskets and another family doesn't get any. We want it to be fair for everyone."

The Christmas season is also the time of year when people open their hearts, their wallets and their larders to give food to those in need. Long said that the pantry ekes by until Christmas season and the renewed spirit of giving, fortunately that spirit has already kicked in this year. Just Tuesday Long accepted a donation from the NEVC.

Long said that food donations are always welcome but money is needed as well.

"We get barrels of food and that's awesome but we can always use money," Long said. "We get a lot of our products from Ozark food harvest in Springfield. They are inexpensive, you pay by the pound for food, but they don't have a big assortment sometimes so I have to buy other items elsewhere."

Long said money is also necessary for other expenses but she tries to keep those expenses as low as possible. A recent problem with a freezer forced the group to spend money on repairs when Long would rather it be spent on actually feeding people.

"I dislike spending money on the building or equipment when we need to spend it on food," Long said. "I try to put that need first."

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