After a decade of service to the community, the founder of Second Blessings Food Pantry, Deanna Thompson, has passed on the baton to a new president.
Becki Gillihan, who was serving as the vice president, is now president. Other board members include Mary Kopp, secretary; Kim Craft, media historian; and Terri Crouch, treasurer. All previously served as volunteers with Second Blessings.
The pantry, located at 105 E. Main St., in the basement of First Presbyterian Church, serves the Union School District and residents of Franklin County.
The board noted that if the food supply is low, food is limited to Union residents.
People can pick up food, including fresh fruit and vegetables, canned goods, meat and bread each week.
The pantry serves between 24 and 40 families on a weekly basis, Crouch said.
“We are one of the only weekly food pantries in Franklin County,” Craft added.
This year, the pantry purchased a van. Before, Gillihan would use her own vehicle and gas to drive into St. Louis County to pick up good fruits, vegetables, bread and other items that normally would be thrown out by grocery stores. She still travels to St. Louis County to pick up food, but said she would like to partner with local grocery stores.
Grocery store owners who might be willing to donate unwanted items are encouraged to contact the pantry.
Any items that cannot be distributed are given to a local farmer as feed for hogs.
Second Blessings also partners with the church to provide a free community meal the third Tuesday of each month.
Crouch said the pantry relies on donations from the community to help those in need.
The organization is a 501(c)(3) run entirely on donations.
The biggest need is for financial donations to help with gas, maintenance on the van, insurance and upkeep; as well as gloves, Ziplock bags of all sizes and other supplies. Canned food items are always welcome and needed.
Volunteers pay for all items and supplies that aren’t donated.
There are several big supporters, including Eagle Safety Products, the Sons of the American Legion and Silgan, which all provide items or donations to the pantry. The church also allows the pantry to operate there, though they’re not affiliated.
This year Scouts donated items from the Scouting for Food Drive and April Shower personal hygiene item drive.
The ladies said they are thankful for the support from the community.
The pantry is open Thursdays from 1:30-3 p.m. as well as during emergencies.
To make a financial donation, people may mail checks to Second Blessings, 105 E. Main St., Union, MO 63084.
To schedule a donation dropoff time or for more information, people may call 636-649-4545.