Neighbors in Need in Buffalo, Missouri
On the third Tuesday of every month, Neighbors in Need distributes food at Calvary Chapel in Buffalo, Missouri, the Dallas County seat.
“We distribute to approximately 300 households,” said Martha Hamilton, the Co-Manager of Neighbors in Need. “We have lots of little towns like Long Lane, Louisburg, and Charity. We service a lot of rural areas. Not farmers, but rural.”
Hamilton has been with Neighbors in Need from the beginning; she’s a retired school teacher. She says they partnered with the local food pantry in Buffalo in 2011 because the pantry needed more space, plus it was a great fellowship for the congregation. “We started in the fellowship hall of the church,” she says, but soon it was so successful they outgrew the fellowship hall and built onto the church.
It’s a community affair. They work with other local churches that contribute funding and volunteers. “The biggest age group we serve is the over 60 group, but we have families of 8 or 9 that we service, too. It’s a low-income area. The land is cheaper. They might buy an acre of land, put a trailer on it, and barely subsist. They might not be able to pick up the food themselves – they might not have transportation – so they’ll send someone to pick up the food for the people in their neighborhood. Lots of people smile and say ‘thank you, thank you, thank you!’ as they come through. It obviously makes a difference to them.”
Hamilton says she realized she was making a difference the first time she made food deliveries to some tenants at the senior apartments that were unable to get out. “They were so appreciative of the food and the short visit, and I was met with smiles, hugs, and thanks. God put me where I am to help others and Ozarks Food Harvest and USDA have made that an easy task each month!”
Neighbors In Need Food Distribution is a community partnership designed to provide USDA Foods and supplemental groceries to those in need in the Dallas County community. Hamilton talks about the grant they were awarded earlier this year from Ozarks Food Harvest and how it’s helped their food pantry, “We were able to get a freezer and pallet jacks. It was wonderful. It has been a Godsend from the beginning – to take our dollars and stretch them so much further. We can supplement with what the USDA is sending so they can make a good meal. We try to have meat and bread. We couldn’t do it without Ozarks Food Harvest. They’ve helped us with anything we needed. If we can’t find something, someone could tell us where to get it or get it for us.”
Helping neighbors is what it’s all about. “We love to see the smiles and thankfulness of our clients, but none are bigger or better than when we are able to provide a birthday cake for someone in the family.
It is often totally unexpected, and you can just see the burden lifted from their shoulders when they realize that even though they didn’t have money to provide it, they were going to have something to help with the celebration.”
Ozarks Food Harvest is honored to have Neighbors in Need as its partner in hunger relief. With their efforts, we’re Transforming Hunger into Hope together.
We’re proud to partner with such an innovative group of thoughtful people serving seniors in the Ozarks!