With record unemployment in Missouri due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are facing financial stress and food insecurity. The Grain Valley Assistance Council (GVAC) continues to meet their needs of their current clients and is providing drive-thru delivery of food assistance to anyone in need.
“We have seen a small increase in the numbers we serve in Grain Valley. The new families we are seeing have been laid off and have no income. They have tried filing for unemployment and are applying for food stamps,” Donna Compton, Site Director for GVAC said.
The organization remains open on Wednesdays from 9:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 4:00pm, with a few changes to maintain volunteer and client safety.
“At this time, we are using a drive-thru delivery method and not allowing anyone inside our building, except for volunteers. I have limited the number of volunteers also. We have no more than six in our building on Wednesdays,” Compton said.
GVAC has suspended residency requirements to request food assistance at this time.
“Since it is a drive-thru delivery method, we ask that everyone in the car, stays in their car. We will ask you to have your trunk open, so we can walk out and place the food in your trunk. If your trunk is not available, we will place your food away from our building, so you can drive up further and load your food into your car.”
Donations are always needed to maintain the food pantry and provide utility assistance for clients in need. Compton anticipates that the numbers of families requesting utility assistance and food assistance will increase in the coming months.
“Right now, any monetary or food donation is appreciated. We have a food barrel available inside the Grain Valley Price Chopper. We would ask that if you have a donation you want to bring to the office, please bring it in the Wednesday we are open. You can leave it outside the door. Please do not bring items any other day as the office is closed.”
“The only donations we are accepting at this time are food, hygiene products, and monetary donations. We are in need of jelly (plastic containers), syrup, pancake mix, canned meats, boxed dinners (hamburger helper) and canned pasta sauce (in cans, not jars, please). Since our clothes closet is not opened, we are not taking any other donations at this time,” Compton said.
The community continues to step up to assist GVAC in their efforts. Recently, GVAC received a grant from Sam’s Club for $1,500, a grant from Shelter Insurance for $1,000, and $500 in in-kind hygiene product donations from the Church of Latter Day Saints. Grain Valley Chiropractic recently completed a fundraiser for the organization, raising over $3,000.