BENNIE COOK

After the recent rise in propane prices, the Texas County Food Pantry has been actively assisting needy county residents stay warm.

Food pantry director Bennie Cook said grant funding received on a quarterly basis from the Missouri Housing Development Commission (MHDC) – for use in covering utility bills, rent and mortgage – typically lasts into March after being banked in January, but is already almost gone due to the propane hike. Cook said the grant funding being used amounted to about $20,000 and that the food pantry only purchases the minimum amount of propane (100 gallons from most local propane companies).

Cook said the food pantry is also using the Salvation Army fund collected during the 2013 Kettle Campaign to help pay utility bills. Campaign volunteers raised $19,270.16 during the recent holiday season.  

“This sounds like a lot of money until you help pay propane bills over $500 apiece,” Cook said. “We are going to do our best to continue helping people in our area keep their utilities on and housed.”

Cook said the pantry applied for and has been approved to receive another MHDC grant of $80,000, which will be received quarterly beginning in April.

To learn more about the Texas County Food Pantry, call Cook at 417-967-4484, or log onto www.txfoodpantry.com. The food panty can also be found on Facebook.

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