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CCCNMO to celebrate Grand Opening of Catholic Charities Food Pantry with Community Resource Fair, giveaways and activities for the whole family

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Ashley Wiskirchen, Director of Communications

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO) will host a celebration marking the grand opening of the Catholic Charities Food Pantry, on March 25, 2022, from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The pantry is located at 1015 Edmonds Street in Jefferson City, Missouri.

The grand opening celebration will include light refreshments, giveaways, food safety demonstrations, and a community resource fair.

The resource fair will connect local agency partners with visitors to showcase services, with staff on-hand to enroll community members in benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits. St. Mary’s Hospital will host an A1C clinic, where visitors can measure their blood glucose levels with a quick finger prick – a helpful stop for visitors who may have blood sugar concerns, are experiencing prediabetes, or already manage a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

CCCNMO staff will also be present with tables showcasing their agency’s Counseling Services, Community Services – including housing counseling, disaster and case management services – and additional Health and Nutrition programs.

Visitors may want to have their photo ID and a piece of mail verifying their address handy to enroll in community programs and to set up their membership with the food pantry.

Additional partners scheduled to be present at the resource fair include United Way, the Cole County Health Department, the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, Skill Up, and Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA). Several table spaces are still available for local agencies to participate in the resource by contacting Lori Stoll, Food Programs Coordinator, by phone at 573-635-7719.

Light refreshments and samples of meals and healthy snacks that can be made from ingredients within the pantry will be available in the demonstration kitchen. The kitchen will also host food safety presentations and tips throughout the event.

“Understanding food safety is important because using best practices in small ways can keep families safe and help people stretch their food dollars,” said Stoll.

The Catholic Charities Food Pantry opened its doors to community members six weeks ago, welcoming locals to set up their membership and test the inventory and online ordering systems. Within that soft-launch period, 240 households have shopped the pantry to bring over 18,000 pounds of food home to feed their families.

CCCNMO is a proud partner of The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, who generously provides food to partner pantries at no cost. The pantry and all Catholic Charities Health & Nutrition Services programming receives support from the Community Health Improvement Services program of SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital. Support for our agency’s innovative use of SmartChoice online inventory and ordering software has been provided by the United Way of Central Missouri’s Community Support Grant program.

“Knowing that we’ve served over 600 neighbors in these households who are struggling with food insecurity since opening the pantry is very rewarding,” shared Executive Director, Dan Lester.

“In assessing the needs of our community with partners like the United Way and The Food Bank,” Lester continued,  “We knew that access to healthy, nutritious food that meets the needs of our community members across the lifespan was a critical gap that we could help fill, and we are eager to do so.”

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Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri (CCCNMO), an entity of the Diocese of Jefferson City, responds to the needs of people in 38 counties regardless of faith, culture, or situation. This includes services for refugees and immigrants, those with food insecurity, mental health needs, health and nutrition education, basic household, and shelter needs. For more information, visit cccnmo.diojeffcity.org.