To The Editor:

Your recent news story concerning the struggles of local food pantries was informative and alarming. It is disturbing to hear of the serious need facing some parents as they try to feed their children.

We want to thank The Missourian staff for reminding us of the desperate need in our area.

For families experiencing these difficulties, local food pantries and assistance organizations provide crucial assistance in ensuring children receive adequate food and clothing. All service organizations are searching for ways to fund and staff the needs of their population.

Every group is very important in the endeavor to assist those in need. Toward that end, no one has served more faithfully nor worked harder than Sandy Crider at Loving Hearts in Washington.

Sandy not only manages the largest food pantry in the region, she also offers assistance and expertise to many other area charitable organizations. Sandy has generously provided advice, assistance, and three skids of food to assist in the start-up of the weekend FoodPack program for students in the Union School District.

Without her help, we would have faced a much more difficult challenge.

We have now become a self-supporting organization serving over 70 students weekly. Like all other FoodPack programs, we are dependent upon the contributions of individuals, church congregations, community organizations, and local businesses.

With their help and support, along with an occasional boost from Loving Hearts, the Wildcat FoodPack project is helping to feed young children who otherwise might be going hungry.

As we end this year and begin another, we want to thank our supporters and to encourage everyone to begin or to continue contributing to local organizations, such as the Wildcat FoodPack program, that are working to improve the lives of all our neighbors.