Tim’s Story

Volunteering in the COVID-19 pandemic can be a scary proposition, but doing it for a cause you truly believe in and knowing it makes a difference to those in need is a risk worth taking for Tim.

“I just love helping people. That’s why I’m here,” he said as he directed traffic for a Southeast Missouri Food Bank COVID-19 Response mobile food pantry at Cape First Church in Cape Girardeau.

The importance of providing food to people who truly need it weighed heavily on him.

“It’s very important. People are stuck at home and have lost their job and things. I’m sure there are people here who would have never expected to come to something like this, but you’ve got to feed your family one way or another,” Tim said.

He and his wife have helped at other mobile food pantries in the area and volunteer anytime they can.

“It’s always been a real good experience. It’s really enjoyable to just help out,” he said.

With an increase in the number of people needing food assistance and a decrease in food donations from retailers, Southeast Missouri Food Bank is having to purchase more food, further straining its limited resources. Tim encourages those who can to make monetary donations.

“[Mobile food pantries] couldn’t be done without it. If donations weren’t there, you couldn’t operate. It’s going to a good cause,” he said.

Other Stories

The Stigma of Visiting Food Pantries

Mother Gloria and daughter Summer know the stigma that can accompany visiting a pantry. But when it comes to feeding your family, you have to swallow your pride. “At first, I was like, I don’t need to go there. We’re fine. We’ll make it,” Gloria said recalling her first pantry visit. “I’ve learned since that…
Read More

Donate, Don’t Throw Away

Tyler Kemplin got into personal training and nutrition after his mother and a close friend both passedaway due to health issues. He posted some photos of his meal prepping on social media, and peoplebegan asking about purchasing meals from him. In an instant, Pulse Fitness & Nutrition in CapeGirardeau was formed. “I wanted to help…
Read More

When SSI Isn’t Enough

With as much as Linda paid in to Social Security over her lifetime, she thought she would receive back more in benefits when she reached retirement. “I get Social Security but it’s small, and I have a hard time getting by. I’m low-income, and I need help with food,” she said, adding that she visits…
Read More

Ruth & Kaira

The return to school means buying school supplies and clothing, expenses that can be hard for families to manage – especially if they have multiple children. Ruth, from Advance, understands that challenge all too well as she is raising three grandchildren by herself. Preparing them for returning to school put a dent in Ruth’s wallet…
Read More

Joyce’s Story

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, many people are struggling more than ever to make ends meet and some are forced to choose between eating or paying bills. On a bright Saturday morning at Bread Shed, a food pantry in Poplar Bluff, more than 200 people wait patiently to get food provided through Southeast Missouri…
Read More

Food Insecurity in New Madrid County

Imagine 2,310 adults standing in a line. Now add another 1,030 or so children. Those 3,340 people represent food insecurity in New Madrid County. With a county population of only 17,810, New Madrid County has a 19 percent overall food-insecurity rate and a 24.6 percent child food-insecurity rate. This compares to Missouri’s rate of 13…
Read More