Stone and Taney County groups distribute food, household goods to local families
A church in Crane teamed up with several other groups to offer food and supplies for people in Stone and Taney Counties.
"This has become a greater need than we expected," Crane First Baptist Church Pastor Jim Cross said.
However, he says, it's a need that several faith-based groups are striving to meet in the local community.
"Convoy of Hope brought the food items, Silver Dollar City distributed them. The local V-Mar, we got to use their truck and driver to pick it up. Then, we here at Crane First Baptist were able to bag it up and give it out," Pastor Cross said.
However, the effort stretched well beyond Crane, throughout all of Stone and Taney Counties.
"It was a good match. When Convoy asked if we wanted a truck to distribute, it was a no-brainer for us. We housed the food under the umbrella of the Silver Dollar City Foundation and then we went to work identifying the different food banks [and churches] in Stone and Taney Counties," Ann McGregor with Silver Dollar City Foundation said.
In Crane, the church members stocked the shelves at the North Stone County Food Pantry, helping the pantry reach more families during the pandemic. The manager at the pantry says they serve about 250 families per month.
"I've been putting new clients on," Patricia McCullough said. "We serve from Hurley to Highlandville to Cape Fair, to past Reeds Spring."
The church also did a pull-through pick-up in their parking lot.
"We are thankful for the churches and everything you guys are doing, because if not for you guys, we probably wouldn't be eating this week," Christy Barnett said.
When people pulled up, they got a bag full of things like toilet paper, non-perishable food items, and household goods. About 300 bags went out in the Crane area alone. The resources should last a few weeks for folks who may need to travel a lot farther than others to find help.
"We drove 20 miles to get here today," Barnett said.
Barnett, who is without work, was needing food assistance for the first time in nearly a decade.
"I clean vacation houses and this virus has absolutely taken my work from being booked full, March and April to absolutely nothing," Barnett said.
Church members say they were glad to join other faith-based entities to help their neighbors in times of need.
"For us to care for our neighbor, to provide for our neighbor, that's just in our DNA. That's just normal to who we are, because, yes, love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your strength and with all your might, but the second commandment is like unto the first, love your neighbor as yourself. That's just core to who we are," Pastor Cross said.
The North Stone County Food Pantry is open once a week on Wednesday mornings. Pastor Cross says they'll continue to monitor the needs of the area and try to help as they can.
Through these efforts, Convoy of Hope, the Silver Dollar City Foundation and local churches and pantries distributed 40,000 lbs of non-perishable food throughout Stone and Taney Counties.