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Taking Out Supplies

Food pantries are essential resources in our communities. They provide food, water, and other items for people who, otherwise may not be able to afford them. Additional resources, such as government assistance through food stamps, can also aid those in need. But what happens when things like food stamps don’t allow you to purchase necessary goods, such as toothpaste or detergent? St. Michael’s answers this question through one simple action: a necessity pantry.

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, located at 4000 Lee’s Summit Road in Independence, Missouri, hosts a “Necessity Pantry” every first and third Wednesday of the month. This ministry, which goes back more than a decade, offers personal hygiene products to people such as shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, disposable razors, shaving cream, bath soap, deodorant, and more.

“It’s vital to the community, I feel,” says Susan Rodriguez, a volunteer and Vestry member of St. Michael’s. “We’ve been working with some social workers from mental health. They’re very appreciative and they told us some information about their clients and how it helps them.”

With a system in place, and people being catered to, the Necessity Pantry was going strong. Until the pandemic hit.

“When the pandemic hit, we shut down everything. Services, all of our pantries, everything,” says Jolene Cerveny, a volunteer for St. Michael’s Necessity Pantry. “We did have a meeting of the volunteers, and I respected folks who were concerned for their health and their families health, but I knew the need was the greatest at that time.”

Now? St. Michael’s serves roughly 1,000 people each month, and the numbers are still climbing.

If you’d like to learn more about St. Michael’s and the work they do, visit their website.

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