Union area businesses and local residents showed they “Have a Heart” by donating more than 3,000 food items and cash donations during a recent drive.
The third annual “In Union Against Hunger” food drive ended Feb. 12. The theme was “Have a Heart for the Needy This Valentine’s Day.”
Fricks Market donated 1,708 of the food items.
The drive is spearheaded by Dr. Michael Edwards of Optima Dental Group in Union.
The other top five donors, were Pasta House, Natural Healing Centers, Express Employment Professionals and Legends Bank.
The drive comes at a time when donations to the pantry are low. Many organizations and residents donate during the holiday season, but the need at the pantry is year-round.
In 2012, there were about 2,000 families and 5,000 residents served by the pantry.
Since 1994, the number of families who are helped by the Union Food Pantry has increased by nearly 1,400 from 611 to 2,000.
Monetary donations are used to purchase perishable items, such as meat. Nearly 100 percent of donations go directly to serve those in need.
Scouts, U.S. Postal Service workers, churches, businesses and individuals, among others, all make donations to the pantry which help keep it afloat.
Union Food Pantry has served the Union and Villa Ridge ZIP codes since 1994. It shares with other area food pantries and receives support from the United Way. The facilities are donated, and it uses only unpaid volunteers. Monetary donations are used to purchase perishable items, such as meat. Nearly 100 percent of donations go directly to serve those in need.
Many volunteers generously donate time to the food pantry to mark food expiration dates, stock shelves, staff the facility, distribute pantry items to families, and purchase food.
There are food pantry donation boxes at many local churches. Contributions of grocery items can also be taken directly to the food pantry.
Food can be dropped off between 2-4 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, or by appointment. Cash contributions can be mailed to the Union Food Pantry, at 113 W. Locust St., Union, MO 63084.
Families needing assistance are invited to call the food pantry at 636-584-7050.