ARNOLD, Mo. - The Arnold Food Pantry will expand services to ensure no veteran goes hungry. The organization already serves an estimated 13,000 Jefferson County residents each year.
"No veteran should worry about where their next meal is coming from," said Phil Amato, board president of the Arnold Food Pantry. "That's sinful."
More than 200 people attended the annual Taste of Arnold at the Arnold VFW, the Arnold Food Pantry's biggest fundraiser of the year. The Arnold Food Pantry does not receive federal or state funding and relies on fundraisers, donations, and community support.
Eligible veterans living anywhere in Jefferson County may now receive two weeks supply of food on an ongoing basis.
"It's going to be extremely fortunate for (veterans in need)," said Jason Reimann, Jefferson County 707 Marine Corps League. "We're really blown away by it."
Amato said there is no telling how many more people they will be able to help as the need often changes.
People sometimes find themselves in a temporary circumstance following a divorce, job loss, or illness, and need help from the pantry on a short term basis. Others need ongoing support
"Thirteen percent of the adults in Jefferson County are living at the federal poverty guideline," said Ed Fitzhenry, executive director of the Arnold Food Pantry.
The Arnold Food Pantry receives large donations of food each year with help from the Boy Scouts. On November 9, the Scouts will deliver blue bags to homes throughout the metro.
The Scouts will pick up the bags filled with canned goods on November 16 and bring them to food pantries like the one in Arnold.