Things are looking up!

Before I get into our current updates, let me tell you a little that has gone on here at the Pantry the past two months. I say a little, but the truth is, it’s been a LOT. COVID-19 has basically brought all departments to a halt with the exception of the Food Department and the Emergency Services office. This has meant some personnel layoffs as well as most of our volunteers temporarily opting out. It’s taken four times the amount of work behind the scenes but we are blessed to have an amazing crew and a few volunteers hard at it every day to serve our community with their food and emergency needs. Our process has been completely turned upside down, but our food clients have been patient and gracious and just gone with the flow of things.

Onto TCFP’s phases of re-opening. Beginning June 2, the Food Department reopened for entry. This will look differently for a while, as we will only allow five clients in at a time. Let’s face it, a hallway does not provide much social distancing room. There will be seating on the sidewalk for those in line.

Also as of June 2, the donation gates are again open! I know all of you quarantined spring-cleaners will be happy to hear that. The gates will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. I do ask that during the initial phase that you do not leave donations after hours or on the weekends. We are still running on a bare crew and that means I don’t have full time dock personnel.

Our next phase will be the Thrift Store! Yes, that’s what I said, it’s happening! I know our shoppers have missed our little store and we’ve missed them, too.  But on June 9, get on in here and get your Thrift fix!

We’ve come to the topic that no one really cares to think about, $$$$. I WANT to talk about it! Let me explain, when COVID-19 caused our Thrift Store to close, we were sweating it. There was lots of worry and discussion on how we were going to keep the doors open to serve those in need. There has been zero revenue for the Pantry since March 20, and yet here we are! By the grace of God and many wonderful, caring donors, we’ve been able to continue with our food program.

This is no small miracle. All of our bills and payroll are paid from the Thrift Store revenue. From businesses, to grants and amazing individuals, the donations we needed to keep going were graciously provided. Our gratitude cannot be expressed in words. Thank You for caring for our community and the work that goes on here!

Your generosity and prayers have allowed the Texas County Food Pantry’s mission to continue. May you all be equally blessed!

Love and blessings from each of us.

Laura Crowley is executive director at the Texas County Food Pantry in Houston, Mo. To contact her, call 417-967-4844 or email tcfpdirector@centurytel.net. The Pantry is located at 102A East Highway 17 in Houston.

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