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Mobile pantry will come to Marion June 17

A semi-load of food items will be distributed 8 to 10 a.m. June 17 in the parking lot of Eastmoor United Methodist Church, 105 Eastmoor Drive, Marion. The food will be given to anyone who expresses a need.

The mobile pantry will come from the Kansas Food Bank in Wichita in partnership with Marion County Emergency Food Bank.

Janet Bryant, director of the county food bank, said the mobile pantry may lighten the demand somewhat, but she didn’t expect it to have much of an impact on the needs of the local food bank. She said if the turnout June 17 is large, the mobile pantry may return on a regular basis.

Debi Kreutzman, a Marion native, is the community relations manager for Kansas Food Bank.

She said using mobile pantries gets food out in a quick and easy distribution method and helps local food pantries keep up with the ever-increasing demand for food assistance.

The food items to be brought to Marion will include nonperishable items, produce, and frozen items — enough for 150 households.

Volunteers will be needed to assist with setup and distribution.

Food items will be placed on long tables and replenished as needed. As individuals come, they will write their zip code and the number of people in their household on a card. They will then turn in the card and go through the line to get their food.

There will be no income requirements, simply an expression of need.

Kreutzman said a recent study done for Feeding America, a national nonprofit organization, found that 13 percent of the population of Marion County — approximately 1,590 people —is food insecure. Of those, 38 percent do not qualify for food stamps or government commodities.

“All of us here at the Kansas Food Bank are looking forward to our trip to Marion County to help those in need,” Kreutzman said.

The Kansas Food Bank has been affiliated with Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest) since 1985. Much of its funding comes through donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals.

Last modified June 2, 2011

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