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Future of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri

One in five people are considered hungry. That is s a statistic that holds across the country, according to Lindsay Young Lopez, Executive Director of the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

“20% of people, when you think about it, that is really staggering. I also put it in terms of the perspective that every day you’re interacting with someone, potentially, who falls into that statistic of being hungry. That might be the person who checks you out at the grocery store, it might be a coworker, it might be a friend, and you just may not be aware that there is that need that exists,” said Young Lopez.

We asked Young Lopez if before the she took the job, did she understand what she was getting involved with?

“No, the food bank is an organization that I always held in a high regard and I knew did really important things for our community. There are always needs. I mention that right now we’re working on replacing a roof. That means we have a list of capital improvement projects that we need to complete by march of next year in order to get that certification taken care of, and those capital projects total over $360,000, with the roof being the bulk of the expense. So we are fortunate that we have generous partners who are willing to help us and invest in those capital projects, but we are still seeking additional funding to be able to achieve what we need to. I would mention the fact that we have 22 vehicles in our fleet, and we have a couple of trucks that will need to be replaced at some point. One of them that we’re fond of here, we call it the “grape ape” because it’s this purple semi, but the grape ape is unfortunately aging and at some point in the near future will need to be replaced. We’re looking to replace a box truck, too, and both of those do not come inexpensively, so we’ll be seeking funding for those things as well. And then just general operating expenses. I think it’s important to note that we are the only food bank in the state of Missouri that charges absolutely nothing for the food that we distribute. That’s something that we’re very proud of, but that means we’re operating on resources that are very lean, and so it’s vitally important that we seek philanthropic partnerships and that we continue to thank those people who are so gracious in order to give us those resources.,” said Young Lopez.

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