Local food pantry feels pinch after unemployed lose benefits

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VALLEY PARK, MISSOURI  ( KTVI)- Senate passage of long-term unemployment benefits appeared in doubt on Tuesday following the failure of two procedural votes, leaving the fate of emergency government assistance to more than 1 million people in limbo.

The votes come after fits and starts in negotiations involving Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and eight Republican Senators.

All parties said they hoped the talks would continuebut several acknowledged the bill is now on a back-burner as the Senate scrambles to deal with other pressing legislation before a week-long recess. A  local food pantry says by the end of the month pantries could be empty. My first rection when I got news out of the senate that they had stop discussion about extending unemployment benefits it scared me,"said  Juliet Holden, Community Communication Director with Circle of Concen in Valley Park Missouri

Holden says about  85,000 Missourians will be cut off from the extended unemployment benfits an 40 percent are 50 plus years old. "Right now while extended unemployment benfits have been cut and are in jeopardy. Our services are becoming more and more important for more and more families.

Sandra Dunn is a clicent of  Circle of Concern . Dunn is  married and a mother of two daughters. She says losing a job could happen to anyone. "A lot of us live pay check to pay check and with my position being elimated if I did not have this unemployment beneift it would cause me alot of stress.

Volunteers at Circle of Concern say since the cuts, there has been an noticable increase in foot traffic . Organizers say they are doing everything possible to everyone who walks through their doors.

Families come to Circle Of Concern once a month and receive a 7-10 day supply of fresh food. A food order consists of fresh produce, milk, eggs, frozen meats, canned goods and personal care items. The food Circle Of Concern shares is food collected for us or bought with the money donated to Circle Of Concern. Our goal is that each food order helps the family save money at the grocery store so they can put their income toward their utilities and housing.


Circle provides a variety of services to those in need. Operating as a food pantry, we hope that the food provided to the families will enable them to use their income for other needs.

Food Pantry: Each month more than 2,200 people receive food from Circle. Families receive groceries once a month based on the size of their family. They get canned goods, frozen meats, fresh produce, bakery items, bread, milk & eggs. Personal care items & paper products are also given out each month.

Financial Aid: Circle provides emergency assistance to its families for rent, utilites, prescriptions, gas vouchers and other necessities. Such aid is provided on an individual basis as funds are available at Circle.


Circle Of Concern offers many annual programs to further assist families in need. Circle depends on the generosity of the community to support these special programs.

Scholarships: Each spring high school seniors from low and moderate income families can apply for a scholarship through Circle. These scholarships are used for college tuition as well as trade or professional schools.

Back To School:Each summer Circle organizes a school supply drive to provide students of our families with new supplies for the upcoming school year. Each student (kindergarten through high school senior) receives a pre-sorted bag of supplies and a backpack. Gift cards are given out so families can get items specific to their child's school.

Camperships: Over the summer months Circle provides numerous children with the opportunity to attend various camps and programs.

Winter Holiday Programs: Every winter Circle shares the spirit of the Holidays by providing our families with a Holiday Basket filled with a turkey, other food items & a blanket for Thanksgiving. Circle also matches sponsors with our families for Holiday Adoptions and Circle organizes a toy drive to give children a new toy at Toy Day.

Birthday Club: Children under 12 receive a gift from Circle on their birthday. Along with a new toy, each child often receives a Birthday Bag that has cake mix, icing & party favors/supplies.

For more information about Circle of Concern or if  you need help click on the link below:


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