Least of These food pantry asks for volunteers to pack 1,600 Christmas meals on Thursday

Jessi HawkinsVolunteer Spotlight

Published: Nov. 29, 2023 at 3:58 AM CST
OZARK, Mo. (KY3) – With record numbers of families seeking food assistance in October and November, food pantries are already gearing up to feed families for Christmas.

Least of These, Inc. is a food pantry in Ozark. Hundreds of volunteers of all ages will pack Christmas meals on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to help fight hunger for families during the holidays. Volunteers will aim to pack over 1,600 bags so local families can prepare and serve a holiday meal.

Kristy Carter is the Executive Director at Least of These, Inc. Carter has said how great the demand was before Thanksgiving, but it’s the same, if not more, now for Christmas.

“The increase is crazy right now. Last week alone, we had one distribution day where we had 22 new families in addition to the 140 that we were serving. So the numbers are increasing. We’re getting 15 applications a day of people who are seeking assistance from us in Christian County,” Carter said. “The need continues to climb, and I don’t foresee that need going away anytime soon. The cost for these meals is over $107,000 for Thanksgiving and Christmas for us to do this special meal, so we definitely need donations to help offset those costs.”

She also said these holiday meals can make a huge difference for people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

“When people think about the holidays, a lot of times they think of food, and food is a common denominator that brings people together,” Carter said. “Being able to have a meal to share or having food to take to somebody’s house to celebrate the holidays is super important not only for their nourishment but also for their spirits and their well-being as humans.”

If you are interested in volunteering on Thursday, Carter said all you have to do is show up. Least of These, Inc. is also looking for donations. If you can donate, visit its website.

To report a correction or typo, please email [email protected]