Perishable food drive gives back

A perishable food drive this weekend sponsored by First Christian Church, Open Door and WEB & Sons will provide an opportunity to donate fresh food to the community.

Nanci Opfer, of Sedalia, an elder at First Christian Church, said the last two drives each brought in about 2,000 pounds of perishable goods. She hopes they can at least meet that amount during this year’s third annual drive.

“Open Door always weighs it in,” Opfer said. “We keep things in coolers, and they have somebody come by about every two hours and pick things up and take them down to Open Door. They weigh everything and keep track of how much it is.”

Although people can buy items from any store and bring them to either Bing’s location, Opfer said Bing’s tries to help out by marking prices down for the drive.

“They’ve been really good about putting some nice things on sale to make it a bit more affordable for people, like hot dogs, oranges or things like that,” she said. “So people can come in and get lunch meat and such like that, bread even, anything that’s not in a can or a box is welcome.”

Besides purchasing perishable items at one of the Bing’s locations or another grocery store for the drive, people can also donate cash.

“Some people just hand us a $20 bill and say, ‘Go in and buy,’ so cash is good too, ‘cause they’re in a hurry or they don’t know what to pick out,” Opfer said. “So they give us money and we send one of our workers in to look for bargains. That’s a cool thing too, if people want to do that.

“People have also brought in things from their garden. We can put those things in the cooler and they’ll be good to give away too.”

Opfer said it’s seldom that people get fresh food at Open Door, so she thinks it’s nice to provide fresh goods for them.

“Every once in awhile they do, but’s it’s very seldom,” she said. “It’s healthy, you know, it’s nice in the summertime. And you know, I think people just appreciate having fresh food.

“It’s something different and like I said, a can of green beans is fine but fresh food is great. Everybody likes fresh food.”

Open Door Executive Director Jack Menges said they’re always in need of perishable food, such as produce or meat.

“Summertime, there’s not a lot of food drives,” Menges said. “A lot of food drives are in the school year. It’s a good time of the year to be doing it.”

Opfer noted one major benefit of the perishable food drive is its personable nature, because donors are giving right back to their local community.

“It’s directly from the people here in Sedalia that care about their neighbors,” Opfer said. “Most of the food that comes (to Open Door) comes from a food bank in Columbia, so this is a personal thing that people can do, just to help somebody out.”

Citizens can drop off donations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with drop-0ff locations at Bing’s East and West. Volunteers will be stationed outside of the two stores during the drive.

For more information about the perishable food drive, contact Opfer at 287-2550 or First Christian Church at 826-5300.

Sedalia Democrat
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