Food pantry faces closure due to lack of funding

OVERLAND, MO - An Overland food pantry is fighting to keep its doors open.

Volunteers with the Ritenour Co-Care Food Pantry tell FOX 2 that lack of funding will force the 30-year operation to shut down next month.

The pantry fills the food gap for nearly 2,000 residents by providing fresh produce, meats and dairy items.

"Not everyone is on food stamps, so what do you do?" said Marsha, who didn't give us a last name. She said she was relying on unemployment benefits until those ran out just recently. Marsha said she turned to the pantry, but even that it seems won't be an option for long.

"If they close this food pantry, it's going to hurt a lot of people," she said.

"It's sad, it's really sad that it has to shut down like that," said Brian Escue.

Escue said that he's on a fixed income with disability and lives with a partner who is sick.

"I'm worried about what's going to happen to us financially because of this," he said.

Volunteers said that there is no shortage of food but they need money to pay the bills in order to keep the pantry running.

Reverend Marsha Brown, the executive director for the pantry said that community members send monetary donations but that too is dwindling due to high demands of meeting increasing maintenance costs.

"People are trying to live on $1600 a month with four kids and their food stamps are cut because they have too much," said Brown, "it's just incredible what folks have to deal with and now it's going to be worse."

Brown said, she is meeting with community, regional and corporate leaders next week in hopes of coming up with a solution to keep the pantry operating.