The Independent Living Center offers food and freedom to its patrons
A key goal of The Independent Living Center (TILC) is self-reliance. The center supports individuals with disabilities in the Ozarks and hopes to give them lives of greater independence.
Started in 1994, TILC has provided attendant services to people with disabilities for more than two decades. The center also offers in-home nursing care in Jasper and Newton Counties. According to Jim O’Hara, Consumer Directed Service Coordinator at TILC, the center added a food pantry to meet the hunger needs of southwest Missouri in 2002.
“For me personally, I saw the difference we were making in the community the first year I started working with our food pantry,” Jim shared. “I started seeing the numbers of individuals that we were serving each month.”
Monthly donations from The Food Bank provide dry foods and frozen food products to those served by The Independent Living Center. With all ages welcome, the center is a big help to many in southwest Missouri.
Before the pandemic, the center served 100 to 125 people. While that number has declined to 25 to 50 because of the coronavirus, TILC is still working to help the community. With the lobby closed, staff members from the center bring food directly to people’s cars when they call the office.
After the effects of COVID-19 lessen, the center plans to continue with business as usual.
“Once the pandemic is over, it will go back to what it was before,” Jim explained. “There will still be hunger issues in southwest Missouri.”
We are so happy to work with The Independent Living Center and are thankful for the work they are doing to help the community. To discover more about their work, click here.