The Texas County Food Pantry recently made the decision to “go solar” with the help of Missouri Sun Solar of Houston.

An entry-level system was installed that helped reduce the food pantry’s electric bill, but director Bennie Cook felt there was still room for more help. With that in mind, the Pantry and Missouri Sun Solar have announced a joint initiative to combat the rising price of electricity.

The effort will result in the free placement of one solar panel at the pantry each time a solar power system is sold within a 60-mile radius of Houston through the end of 2014.

“Every time someone decides to make the jump to solar, they’ll not only be helping themselves financially, they’ll also be making a donation to the Texas County Food Pantry,” Cook said. “Every solar panel placed in service at the food pantry represents a lower electric bill. Every dollar saved can then be spent of services that directly impact people in need.

“More free solar power means more work being done to help those who could use a hand.”

Missouri Sun Solar CEO Caleb Arthur said the affordability of solar power is constantly improving.

“Thanks to newly affordable solar programs, homeowners can go solar for little of no money out of pocket,” Arthur said. “In many cases, they can switch to a locked-in payment that is equal to or less than their current electric bills.”

In addition to the solar equipment, Missouri Sun Solar will donate one volunteer hour at the pantry.

“This initiative is intended to help more people in the area go solar as well as to help fight hunger,” Cook said. “The results of the project will be revealed at a ceremony at the food pantry once the new panels have been installed.”

For more information, call the food pantry at 417-967-4484 or Missouri Sun Solar at 417-413-1786.

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