Local food drives provide boost for Good Shepherd; some wishlists remain for Tonganoxie organization
Thanks to Tonganoxie students, the food pantry at Good Shepherd has 11,000 more canned goods to help feed those in need.
Tonganoxie Middle School accumulated 4,000 cans during a recent drive, while Tonganoxie Elementary School amassed nearly 7,500 cans.
As part of Mayor Jason Ward’s annual food drive challenge, the TES class to gather the most canned goods gets to help Ward turn on Christmas tree lights during the Mayor’s Tree Lighting ceremony festivities in the downtown pocket park.
Kerry George’s fifth-grade class at TES was the winning class this year with 755 cans. They assisted Ward this past Saturday at the event.
“That is just phenomenal,” said Janet Stuke with Good Shepherd Thrift Store and Food Pantry. “One thousand more than last year (at TES). They just keep going up and up with their numbers.
“It’s such a wonderful thing for the food pantry to be a little more stable for a longer period of time.”
In addition to canned soup, TMS also had some cereal, with both schools also collecting some ramen soup, pasta and other times.
Stuke said the pantry still has a wish list in some areas, such as pasta sauce, jelly and soup crackers.
“Some of things, we still are in need there,” she said.
Other things that can be donated are eggs, meats and other proteins.
And, monetary donations are always welcome.
“Those dollars can be used for food we can fill in those other gaps.
A few turkeys have been donated already. With it being hunting season, game meat also has been a popular donation with this being hunting season.
The pantry has received some 50 pounds of venison so far this time of year.
“This is the season for that,” Stuke said.
Good Shepherd is assisting nearly 50 families monthly.
That covers families in southern Leavenworth County and Jefferson County, along with veterans. The organization also offers some assistance to those in need in the northern part of Leavenworth County.
Families in Leavenworth and Jefferson counties can utilize the assistance service every other month, so aid is available six times each year.
People in the Lansing-Leavenworth area can utilize Good Shepherd’s service once each year with there also being various assistance opportunities in Lansing and Leavenworth.
Veterans in need, regardless of where they live in either county, can receive assistance six times a year.
In addition to food assistance, Good Shepherd offers monetary help for things such as rent and utilities for those in need.
Anyone wanting to inquire about assistance can visit Good Shepherd and its assistance office 9-11 p.m. every day of the week aside from Thursdays and Sundays.
Good Shepherd is closed those days, but the thrift store also is open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and Fridays.
People inquiring about assistance just need to bring proof of income. Stuke suggested they call ahead at 913-845-3964.
The thrift store is a popular spot in downtown Tonganoxie for bargain shoppers, but it also is the driving force behind the organization.
Stuke emphasized the importance of those sales, which come from donated items.
“That’s how we’re able to provide assistance for people,” she said.
Good Shepherd always welcomes used items in good shape.
And as Stuke noted, there is a sale of some type happening weekly at the store.
Second Harvest offering monthly produce
A new way for locals to get more food is through Second Harvest, which started offering a monthly satellite pickup Nov. 14 at Cornerstone Family Worship.
The service is open to any residents. Pickup is 10 a.m.-noon the second Thursday of each month for the fresh mobile pantry.
The next pickup opportunity is Dec. 14. Second Harvest limits pickup of goods to five families per vehicle.
For more information, call 816-364-FOOD (3663) or visit shcfb.org.