A giving spirit and a tight-knit community
In 1984, compassionate people in Nevada, Missouri, wanted to feed their neighbors who were experiencing hunger. Over time, these individuals noticed other needs—like a lack of employment and educational opportunities—in their community. With goals of feeding and supporting their local neighbors, these generous people created Nevada Community Outreach.
Today the organization serves hundreds of families and provides thousands of meals each month. According to Sarah Riley, the assistant director at Nevada Community Outreach, the group has a food pantry and a soup kitchen, and it offers school supplies and holiday food baskets. The nonprofit also has emergency food offerings and a small emergency shelter.
The Food Bank partners with Nevada Community Outreach to supply food for the organization’s many programs.
“We get most of the food for our monthly distribution from Ozarks Food Harvest,” Sarah explained. “They deliver food to our pantry twice a month. We are very thankful for this important partnership.”
While it is still operating and supporting the community, the coronavirus pandemic has altered the way the organization functions.
“For the most part, the biggest difference is in what our serving looks like,” Sarah shared. “We have curbside service for the food pantry, lunch has been to-go at the kitchen, and we have applications for school supply sign-ups.”
Nevada Community Outreach is run by Barbara Long, the director, as well as Sarah and a team of nearly 90 volunteers. Sarah is glad to have a community-focused group of volunteers to keep the pantry running.
“Our volunteers are, each one, very dear to us because they are community members who dedicate themselves to making our community a better place by serving others in whatever way is needed,” Sarah expressed. “We would not be able to do a fraction of what we do without every single one of our faithful volunteers.”
Sarah has seen the way the organization has made a difference in so many lives.
“I think my favorite moments have been when someone has a victory in their lives, and they come to share it with us and I see the excitement in their face,” Sarah shared. “It is the relationships that we build here that are precious.”
Going forward, the nonprofit hopes to remain a reliable support for its neighbors.
“Our future looks like a continuation of service to our community,” Sarah added. “We are dedicated to continuing current services, growing as needed, and adapting to whatever the local needs are to help as many people as possible.”
Ozarks Food Harvest greatly appreciates Nevada Community Outreach’s partnership. We are glad to be a part of the work the agency does in Nevada. To learn more about the organization’s many services and how to get involved, visit its Facebook page.