SMITHVILLE – The Smithville Food Pantry has been offering monthly food distributions since 1999, but with little funding and an increasing number of families in need, organizers say they have no choice but to close their doors.
The Smithville Community’s Assistance Program of Empowerment was formed by Smithville resident Suzi Hammond. Hammond, along with a board of nine people, including her husband, provided the communities of Coventry, Brisben, Greene, Tyner, McDonough, Smithville Center, Smithville Flats and German with monthly food distributions until last summer. Due to a lack of funding, the organizations recently suspended monthly distributions and began to operate on an austerity basis, providing emergency food packages on an appointment-only basis.
After several months of providing emergency food packages and no increase in funding, board members recently made the decision to close the pantry.
“These matters are beyond our control. It costs too much for food compared to the amount of money that we can get in,” said Hammond. Operating costs varied month to month depending on the number of clients and the donations they received.