Helping the Dexter Community

Cars lined up to receive food at a food distribution in Dexter for those affected by the July 10th tornado

An emergency food distribution was held Tuesday, July 13 at Lighthouse Church in Dexter after a weekend storm produced an EF2 tornado that left homes damaged and people in need.

Dozens of vehicles filled up the church parking lot as tornado victims waited to get much needed food, including canned goods, refrigerated items, water and more.

Donald, from Dexter picking up food for himself and neighbor Robin (not pictured)

Donald and his neighbor Robin, both from Dexter, were at the distribution. Donald and Robin lost power for around 13 hours after the storm knocked a tree onto power lines behind their homes.

“Robin is on oxygen, so we went to the police station and they told me to stay with her until she had power and everything was okay,” Donald said.

Not having power for that long meant the loss of some food.

“Some of my refrigerated items went bad, but not all of it,” Robin said. “We were lucky.”

Both Robin and Donald were grateful for the food they received.

“Thank you very much,” they said.

Volunteers load Robert’s truck with food so he can distribtue

Robert, an Army veteran, was also in line to pick up food to share with some of his family members and neighbors with damage not only to their homes, but also vehicles. He said they couldn’t get out to the food distribution.

“There’s a lot of damaged houses and cars, and it was really bad but luckily no one was killed or seriously hurt though,” Robert said.

As food was loaded into his truck, he was thankful for all of the work everyone was doing for the community.

“Everyone is doing such a terrific job out here,” he said.

Pastor Tim Russell of Lighthouse Church helping fill food boxes

Pastor Tim Russell from Lighthouse Church said the food distribution couldn’t have come at a better time.

“This food distribution means a lot to the people of Dexter,” he said. “The Dexter Housing Authority called last night and said they had around 85 families that were displaced because of the storm.”

Russell said in times of need, the food bank and community really come together.

“Thank you all for always coming through, no matter what the need is or disaster you guys are always here,” Russell said. “It’s been a great team effort from Hope International, SEMO Food Bank and all of our volunteers. When people lost their power, SEMO Food Bank came through with refrigerated items, and that’s exactly what we need, so thank you for that. It means a lot to our community.”

Southeast Missouri Food Bank is a primary responder when disaster or emergencies occur in the region, whether it be a tornado, earthquake or pandemic. More information on our disaster relief programs is available by contacting Lisa Church at 573-471-1818 or

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