Spring Hill Food Pantry Serves the Community

The Spring Hill food pantry helps serve a lot of members of the community. In 2020 alone, they helped over 5,000 people combat food insecurity (design credit O. Leblanc).

The Spring Hill food pantry helps serve a lot of members of the community. In 2020 alone, they helped over 5,000 people combat food insecurity (design credit O. Leblanc).

Hannah Smith, Copy Editor

Food seems to be at the center of a lot of things; parties, traditions, celebrations, life in general. Living in the U.S. it’s really easy for someone to assume that food insecurity and going hungry aren’t issues that the people near them face. However, that can’t be further from the truth. Hunger is a problem that hides. 

“Somebody might say  ‘well, that person drove in [here] in a really nice car, they don’t need help.’ Well we don’t know, one of the things to me is we don’t know what’s really going on with that person. They might have a really nice car, but they may have just lost their job,” said Tim Meek, director of the local food pantry. “So there is more to need than just because somebody has a nice car or dresses well. They may have made money in the past, but right now they are in need just like anybody else.”

And the numbers prove just that. According to Feeding America, a nonprofit whose mission it is to educate people on and end food insecurity, 12 percent of people in Johnson County are projected to have experienced food insecurity in 2020. A number that increased from the 9 percent in 2019. This number jumps to 13.5 percent of people in Miami County during 2020. 

These are the counties that make up the school district and this is the hunger that Tim Meek and the people at Spring Hill food pantry are trying to end. 

“[The pandemic] has doubled the number of people coming through basically, I would say. Real close to doubling it,” said Meek. 

They serve anyone in Spring Hill, Paola, Gardener, or the 66062 postal code of Olathe with a food supplement meant to take care of almost half of their meals for the week. 

“[If someone needs the food] they just need to show up. We try to do mostly seniors in the morning from 9-10:30 and then we do families and people who can’t make the morning one, seniors or whoever from six to seven thirty. We have a line up and you drive up and we load the boxes of canned goods and stuff like that. And then we have the meat that we hand out to them and the baked goods from Hy-Vee someone else will bring that out to them,” explained Meek. “There is no income requirement, it’s all need based. If someone says they need food then we serve them.”

The pantry just needs your name, address and something to prove how many people are in your family. With this model they have served 5,681 people in 2020, and serve anywhere from 120 to 140 people each week. With the help of up to 25 different people loading food and packing boxes, they are willing to do whatever the pantry and its customers need. 

“We have been very blessed as far as how much food we have been able to distribute. Harvesters, [a non-profit that supplies much of the food the pantry hands out], has been able to keep us supplied where we feel we can help supplement people,” said Meek.  

Hunger might be hiding in the community, but Meek and the people who volunteer at the pantry are working to help fight it however they can.

 

If you want to make a financial donation to the pantry click here. If you would like to contribute food contact Life Spring’s church office either by email, at [email protected], or by phone, at 592-5433. To volunteer sign up here.

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