Monroe County NECAC opens daily food pantry

WGEM News at Six
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 4:48 PM CST
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PARIS, Mo. (WGEM) - More rural households are facing food insecurity across the country, as 12% struggled to put food on the table in 2020.

A food pantry at Monroe County NECAC opened Friday to address rising hunger issues.

Residents in Monroe County can pick up canned vegetables, pasta, and other food items for free at 314 North Washington Street in Paris.

NECAC Service Coordinator Shelby DeOrnellis started the pantry because she noticed a growing need in the community.

“Pandemic, cost of living, just a little bit of everything factors into it, and again this time of year is hard. Utilities may be higher,” DeOrnellis said.

Previously, the county had one pantry that was only open once a month.

Pantry volunteer and nurse Kim Mitchell said a daily food pantry has been a long time coming.

“It allows the parents, the patients to have an alternate route you know middle of the month, later in the month, before the next food pantry,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said she has seen patients who are not getting a proper diet because they can’t afford to, so the pantry will help.

“We know that if they have a better diet and they have food on the table, they’re gonna feel a little better as well,” Mitchell said.

DeOrnellis is encouraging the community to step up and make a donation. They will accept any non-refrigerated food items.

“Everyone knows their neighbor and you may not realize that they’re struggling,” DeOrnellis said.

Mitchell is already planning to help with her local 4-H chapter.

“That’s something that we love to do is do local fundraisers, and it’s something that those kids can help and give back to their community as well,” Mitchell said.

If you would like to pick up food from the pantry, NECAC is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They prefer that you are a resident of Monroe County.


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