Food pantry in Hannibal closes after 20 years

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 9:51 PM CDT
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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) - A northeast Missouri church closed their long-time food pantry this week. Now, other local pantries are stepping up to fill the void.

After 20 years of operation, New Life Pentecostal Church in Hannibal closed its food pantry this week.

Pastor Michael Eiffen said they used to serve a lot of families.

“One-hundred-twenty families at one time. I mean that was on one evening,” Eiffen said. “We would also have families coming throughout the month needing emergency food so I figure 150 to 175 families.”

According to Eiffen, since January, they have been getting significantly less food from the Food Bank of Central Missouri, knowing they’d get less food caused fewer people to go to the pantry. Combined with a lack of volunteers and financial issues, the church decided to close their pantry.

“A lot of help has gotten older and they are no longer able to help,” Eiffen said. “Getting new volunteers has been difficult. Just recently our tow motor is on its last leg.”

Other local pantries, like the Salvation Army, are stepping up to help fill the void.

Amanda Bowen, a family service caseworker at the the Salvation Army, said they have already started to serve more families.

“It’s rather difficult,” said Bowen. “You can plan for the unexpected as much as you can but you are only as good as your funding and your donations.”

Bowen said they served around 80 families back in January and now they serve 120 families.

“We have already seen an influx of people and I see that continuing,” she said.

Eiffen said they will be starting a pantry for non-perishable goods like toilet paper, diapers and things that people can’t use food stamps for. They are not sure when it will open.

The Salvation Army is taking food donations and the New Life Pentecostal Church is taking toiletry donations.

Here is a list of food pantries in the NEMO:

  • Palmyra Food Pantry
  • Harvest Outreach in Hannibal
  • Louisiana Food Pantry
  • BGMA Hope Center in Bowling Green
  • Mission 180 in Hannibal
  • Douglas Community Services in Hannibal
  • Shelby County Food Pantry in Shelbina
  • Lewis County Food Pantry in Canton

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