Ritenour food pantry saved thanks to last minute donations

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The Ritenour Co-Care Food Pantry has been saved, at least for now; but the organization still needs long-term help.

The pantry was set to close August 19 due to lack of funds and volunteer support. But after word got out, people stepped up in generous ways.

“A lot of people came forward,” Rev. Marsha Brown said. “I had two people call and say, ‘How much do you need?’ and they gave us thousands of dollars.”

They were able to raise the $40,000 needed to stay open. Donations poured in from a corporation, a teachers’ union, and patrons themselves.

“We've got enough to last eight months now,” Brown said. “And we're looking for more sustainable funding that comes on a regular basis and more volunteers.”

The pantry serve about 2,000 people per month just in the Ritenour School District. Brown said the need is there and they could serve more people if they had more volunteers and money to keep longer hours.

“We have a pipeline of food from the St. Louis Food Bank that comes to us by the truckload twice a week,” she said. “If we weren't here that food wouldn't go anywhere.”

Rev. Brown said if people can donate any amount, it will make a big difference.

“It’s been incredible, I have never had people say, ‘how much do you need’ and let me fill in the blank,” she said.