The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri began its annual Check Out Hunger campaign earlier this week to help local organizations obtain food donations that are in turn donated to individuals in need.
“We began the campaign Monday at three local grocery stores (Bings East and West grocery stores and Woods Supermarket),” said Darren White, western regional coordinator for the Food Bank. “It’s a partnership we have been doing for a number of years and it’s a simple way for community members to help others.
“When customers are at the grocery store all they need to do is tell the cashier they would like to make a monetary contribution to the Check Out Hunger campaign,” White explained. “The clerk will scan the card and the donation will go to the Food Bank.”
All of the funds are used to provide food to 131 partner agencies in 32 counties.
According to information on the agency’s website, a $10 donation will provide 150 pounds of food.
“It’s a great program,” said Crystal Sims, assistant manager at Woods. “You never know who is hungry — it could be a friend, or your neighbor, the person across the street or a family member.
“You just never know, it might be us someday,” Sims added. “It’s wonderful because the money stays here and helps people here.”
While the participating store managers do not know the dollar amount raised at each store until after the campaign is completed, they feel it is a program that is making an impact locally.
“This is one of the better campaigns to help others, in my opinion,” said Steve Gemes, manager for Bings West Grocery Store. “It is easy for the customers to do because they are already in the store and can make the donation here.
“It is also a benefit for those in need because the Food Bank knows what the area agencies need to fill their shelves and so they can use the money collected to purchase those specific items,” he added.
All three stores have participated in the program since its inception 11 years ago, according to the managers.
“I know Robert (Brown, manager at Bings East) and I see the most donations when the program begins,” Gemes said. “We are grateful to all our customers who help in any way.”
“The people here in Sedalia are really generous,” Sims said. “This is a way for them to try to give back and help one another out.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484