Mobile food pantry in Marion June 17

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Marion County residents who could benefit from extra groceries are encouraged to stop by the Kansas Food Bank mobile food pantry from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. June 17 at the Eastmoor United Methodist Church parking lot in Marion.

Debi Kreutzman, community relations manager with the food bank, said anyone who would like to participate will not have to show proof to qualify, she said.

?As people come for food they will be given a card to write in their zip code and fill in the number of people in their household,? she said. ?They will then turn in their card and go through the line to get their food. There will be no income requirements other than expressing a need.?

The Kansas Food Bank is a part of Feeding America, she said, with the goal of getting food out quickly and easily to people and helping local food pantries keep up with the increasing demand for food assistance.

Marion County was selected as one of the distribution areas based on several factors.

?We have been serving elementary and middle schools in the county for the past four years with our Food 4 Kids program,? Kreutzman said. ?We also used to serve a pantry in Burns that closed over a year ago, and we know that several thousand pounds of food was distributed via that pantry in the past.?

In addition, she said a recent study done for Feeding America found that 13 percent of Marion County?s population is food insecure, which is 1,590 people.

?Of those, 38 percent do not qualify for food stamps or government commodities,? she said.

Marion County is also important to Kreutzman, she said, because Marion is her hometown.

?I felt we needed to do this,? she said.

Volunteers needed

The state food bank, in cooperation with the Marion County Food Bank, is also going to need volunteers to help with the distribution.

?If anyone can help, we will need about eight volunteers working in shifts starting at 7 a.m.,? she said.

Prior to arriving at Eastmoor United Methodist Church, 105 Eastmoor Drive, Marion, the Kansas Food Bank will load a semi truck with food items for distribution.

Items that will be available include nonperishable items, produce, frozen items and more for about 150 households.

Volunteers will then help set up long tables with pallets of food behind the tables and place food on the tables, replenishing as needed, Kreutzman said.

?At the end of our time, volunteers will help us load up the empty boxes, pallets and trash, and we will return to Wichita,? she said.

Kreutzman said she has been with the Kansas Food Bank for 11 years.

?Our goal with the mobile pantry is to reach as many people as we can within Marion County that need help with food assistance,? she said.

For more information or to volunteer, call the Kansas Food Bank at 316-265-3663.

?We here at the Kansas Food Bank are looking forward to our trip to Marion County to help those in need,? she said.

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