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      The makings of a food bank

      This is the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. 105,000 people are fed from 32 counties including Adair and surrounding areas every month from this food bank and more than 27 million pounds of food was distributed last year. So how does the food bank get its food and how much comes to Adair County?

      ??The first thing you have to realize is the food bank is a unit of acquisition. We acquire food and we give it away for free in 132 agencies in the blue counties you see behind me. In Adair County we gave away more than 432,000 pounds away for free primarily through the salvation army and Christian community food depot as well as last year we picked up a mini mobile which isn't a full fledged pantry, but an ongoing site at the Hamilton street Baptist church,?? Mike DeSantis said.

      Before it even comes close to arriving in Adair County, it must first be unloaded at the food bank. From there the quantity is either counted or in this case it's weighed. Any items that were donated in bulk must be broken down into family size portions. They are then sealed and labeled with the ingredients the food is made with. From there, the food is stored until it is shipped out. In some instances quickly perishable items are refrigerated or can even be frozen if circumstances are needed. All you have to do to freeze it is bring the food through a door that separates the freezer section from the refrigerated one.

      ??And within a matter of hours sometimes the latest days, it goes on a menu and then our pantries acquire the food from the menu. They order off the menu and then we give them the food for free and in Adair County there are about 3,000 people that need help every month. The food bank is helping about 1,800 to 2,000 consistently every month. So, we'd love to get more food up in the area. We can get more food up in the area. We're looking for another pantry right now so they can help us distribute more food, " DeSantis said.

      After the food is ordered off the menu, it is then picked up or delivered to local food pantries like the one here in La Plata. The food is then distributed to people in need some of which are senior citizens and veterans. People who are well deserving of asistence because they're the ones that made this great country what it is today.

      If you would like to help donate, there is an event Saturday March 16 from 7a.m. to 7pm. The food bank will be accepting donations at Wal-mart and Hy-Vee. They are asking for you to donate potatoes and money. Of course they will take other items, but they are trying to stock up on St. Patty's Day staples.