Pantries low on food, but residents in Lee’s Summit quickly show generosity

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- More shelves at a food pantry are empty this time of year, and social workers are calling for help before supplies runs out. At Lee's Summit Social Services, the community is responding with donations of canned goods.

This agency serves about 4,000 clients, providing each at least one bag of groceries a month. But during the back-to-school season, many people are focused on donations of school supplies or clothing.

Families may be busy with summer activities and as a result food donations often lag in August. That's resulted in alarmingly sparse shelves at the agency's pantry this year, and social workers have put out a plea on social media for shelf stable boxed and canned vegetables, soups and pasta.

"They can get appointments to get groceries every month and we got through it really quickly," said Janna Walden, of Lee's Summit Social Services. "When our shelves are really packed at beginning of summer and spring sometimes there’s a misconception that that will last forever. We really go through it very quickly."

Since the call has gone out on Facebook and Twitter, donations of canned goods are coming in again, and Walden says she's amazed at the generosity of people in Lee's Summit.

Walden says there's a misconception that families on food stamps don't need help. But she says often there's a week where families don't have money for food and would go hungry without these donations.