KANSAS CITY — There’s a long list of reasons why people in the city of Kansas City can find themselves in need of help, and some people aren’t just looking for a quick meal.
They’re looking for help for the cost of living.
“You’ve got to be able to feed yourself, and you’ve got kids, and a roof over your head,” said one volunteer, Kristin McManus.
That’s because she has no money for rent or utilities.
“We need to be living in Kansas for a while and I don’t have a way to get back to that and get my kids,” she said.
So she and her friends started a food bank, but it’s a different animal altogether.
It’s called Food Bank Kansas City, and it’s all volunteers.
They volunteer at local food banks and they’ve even partnered with churches and local businesses to serve meals to the hungry.
The group’s mission is simple: feed people who can’t afford food.
“Food banks are the first responders, the first ones to come to your home and help you out,” said Sarah Miller, a volunteer.
She’s one of many volunteers who has come to the aid of a person who can no longer afford food in the Kansas City area.
She said she’s been there in the past and she’s never seen anything like this before.
“This is the kind of thing that needs to happen to help people who are in desperate need,” said Miller.
They’ve served hundreds of people, but now they’re turning their focus to more local food pantries and other community organizations.
Miller said the food pantry is helping to keep the city’s food bank operation alive.
The program provides free groceries, but there are a few things that can make a difference for those who need them.
“When you get a lot of people together, you can kind of make the whole thing work a little bit more efficiently,” she added.
“One of the biggest things that we do with food panting is we give out food coupons and stuff, and we can really get people involved and help them out and make a big difference in their lives,” said McManum.
The Food Bank has served a handful of people since it started in November and so far they have helped more than 900 people.
They’ve given out nearly 2,200 coupons, helping about 3,600 people get food.
The food bank’s goal is to serve more than 50,000 people this year.
“It’s definitely a good thing to see and hopefully this will help bring more people to the food bank and maybe it will lead to more people volunteering as well,” Miller said.
It has also helped to bring in donations from outside the Kansas city area.
They got the idea from a local woman who needed some money for groceries.
“She was on her way to work and it got to the point where she couldn’t pay the bills so she needed some help, so she donated $200 to us,” said Kathy Smith.
So far, the food assistance has been enough to pay for food for her husband and their two children.