MEM recently completed a match campaign with The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri bringing the total raised during the campaign to $80,890.
“The number of those experiencing food insecurity only continues to grow, and we were honored to join The Food Bank in their mission to improve convenient and dignified access to nutritious foods in Boone County with this new site,” said Jennifer Peck, Chief Strategy and Customer Officer for MEM. She also serves as a member of The Food Bank’s board of directors.
This marks the fourth year for the partnership between MEM and The Food Bank, and during that time the matches have raised a total of $375,424. Each year, MEM pledged to match gifts made during a certain period up to $25,000. This year’s match campaign benefited The Food Bank’s purchase and renovation of the future location of the Central Pantry on Business Loop 70 West at the current Moser’s Foods location.
“A new Central Pantry will mean so much for our community by providing a better place for people to get the nutrition they need for a healthy life,” said Lindsay Lopez, President and CEO of The Food Bank. “But we need support to turn that dream into a reality. We are so grateful to MEM for stepping up to challenge the community to donate.”
Hear Lindsey talk about the need for the new space:
The only partner agency owned and operated by The Food Bank, the Central Pantry serves 10,000 Boone County residents a month. Last year, as part of its work during the COVID-19 crisis, the pantry served as a crucial place of support during spikes in need. The larger facility will improve Central Pantry’s ability to better present healthier foods and recipes, store fresh and frozen foods, cooperate with community partners to provide other needed services, and more.
How does the pantry work?
Shannon Stokes, Chief Program Officer for The Food Bank explains:
The Food Bank also hopes a more centralized location in Columbia will increase awareness of Central Pantry’s work and importance. Moving the pantry to a new larger facility represents one of the most substantial improvements in resources for food-insecure residents of Boone County by The Food Bank in its 40-year history.
The Food Bank plans to begin renovations on the new site by 2022. As soon as 2023, Central Pantry will begin operations at the facility.
Why is the Central Pantry so important?
Laina Fullum, Director of Nutrition Services for Columbia Public Schools explains:
MEM’s community impact
Year-round, MEM supports numerous fundraising efforts of local charities through sponsorship, matching gifts, charitable gifts, and in-kind services. We support organizations within MEM’s charitable giving focus areas:
- Health and wellness
- Education and skills development
In 2020, MEM’s corporate monetary donations, combined with more than $76,000 from our employees and their volunteer time, benefited more than 100 organizations throughout Missouri where our employees live and work. In fact, on average, more than 60 percent of MEM employees donate 2000-plus hours of volunteer time annually.