RCH Staff Pitch in to Help Hunger

Hunger and food insecurity is a constant problem for some in our community. Fortunately, there is support for those who do not have consistent access to adequate food or know where or when they will have their next meal.

Fortunately, both Stockton and Plainville have a dedicated group of volunteers who work diligently in their respective food pantries to provide access to nutritious food for those who need it.

When Janet Swafford, coordinator of the Plainville Food Pantry, sent out word that the Plainville pantry was getting dangerously low on supplies, the staffs of Rooks County Health Center (RCH), Post Rock Family Medicine and the RCH Auxiliary went into action, collecting nearly 500 lbs. of food donations and over $150 in cash and Mr. K’s gift cards in less than one day.

The donations were delivered to the Plainville Food Pantry on July 3, just in time to be able to feed area families over the July 4 holiday.

Helping alleviate hunger in Rooks County has been an ongoing project for RCH staff and Post Rock Family Medicine clinic. The annual “Pumpkins for Pantries” pumpkin decorating contest, held in October every year since 2015, raises nearly $2,000 a year that is split between the two food pantries.

The Stockton Food Pantry volunteers are coordinated by Duane Harris, who says that his group distributes food to between 30 and 35 families on a regular basis. While the Stockton pantry is not currently critically low on food, Harris noted that donations tend to drop off after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, even though lack of food is a year round problem for some.

Swafford has helped guide the Plainville Food Pantry for the last 6 years. The Plainville group concentrates on serving the southern half of Rooks County and Stockton focuses on the northern half, though both Swafford and Harris point out that nobody in need of food is turned away, no matter where they reside in the county. Swafford and Harris are both quick to give all the credit to their volunteer staff, who donate their time to serving others.

Stockton Food Pantry is located in the Scout House at 304 South Elm Street and is open the third Thursday of every month from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. To make a donation, contact Duane Harris at 785-205-0077.

Plainville Food Pantry is located behind the Sacred Heart rectory and is open every Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. To make a donation, contact Janet Swafford at 785-303-0296

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