Food pantries need help during this crisis; donations down, need is up


To the editor:

Throughout the region food pantries such as Feed My People, Circle of Concern and the Arnold Food Pantry among others, are facing unprecedented challenges as they work to ensure their clients receive adequate food supplies.

Chief among these challenges is limited income. The Arnold Food Pantry, like most food pantries, relies heavily on donations, fundraisers and grants for operating income. Yet fundraisers that involve public participation or attendance are being postponed or canceled outright.

Many concerts and theater productions are being pushed off to 2021, and the prospect of sporting events without spectators is being debated. Moreover, when fundraisers of this nature are permitted, it is a certainty that the public will be slow to attend large gatherings, resulting in dampening sales.

As food pantries face the consequences of depleting income, the demand for our services is growing. Layoffs and terminations are affecting many hardworking men and women, and the worst has yet to come as the economy continues to struggle. Thus, it is not unreasonable to think your relative, friend, neighbor or co-worker will be next to come to a nearby pantry in need of food and grocery items. They will need our help. They need your help as well.

Please consider that Missouri offers a very generous food pantry tax credit where 50 percent of the amount donated results in a 50-percent reduction in the taxpayer’s Missouri tax liability; it is not a deduction from income. For example, a donation of $500 reduces the taxpayer’s tax liability by $250 — a credit from the top. The “out of pocket” amount in this example is $250, not $500. The paperwork is easy and straightforward from the taxpayer’s standpoint. For more information go to

In short, these are lean times facing food pantries. Consider sharing a portion of your stimulus check or other discretionary monies today. Your donation will ensure that a child waking up knows there will be a breakfast, lunch and dinner — at least for one more day.

Ed Fitzhenry
Executive director, Arnold Food Pantry