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Oak Grove food pantry’s truck destroyed in fire, leaving organizers in financial struggle and families in limbo

OAK GROVE, Mo. -- A metro food pantry's box truck went up in flames Thursday, leaving 75 families in limbo.

Every Thursday, Faith in Christ Fellowship feeds around 250 people. Last Thursday, the church lost the one way it has to collect and distribute food.

"I see it as a whole lot of people that aren't going to get their food," Pastor John Jones said.

But the Oak Grove church is determined to find a solution.

"We have to find other means," Jones said. "We can't just shut down. We can't ignore the need."

Jones said the box truck carried about 4,000 pounds worth of food each week -- something families in need get free of charge.

"I have people tell me every week, 'I don't know what we would do if it weren't for you guys.' I can't ignore that kind of call. We have to find a way to serve these people," Jones said.

As every day inches closer to the coming Thursday, Jones doesn't know what they'll do or what they'll tell the families if eventually they can't help.

"We can't tell them that we're going to stop," Jones said. "We have to find a way, and right now we're renting vehicles, but that's costing us about $100 a week," Jones said.

That amount normally buys the food.

Jones said for every dollar they put in, they get $30 worth of food discounted because the food bank is a charity.

Each week that's $3,000 dollars in food lost.

"Those people need the help, and we have the volunteers that are willing to put the back labor behind it, but we need the dollars to buy the truck," Jones said.

A replacement will cost $8,000, and Jones hopes someone out there can help.

"Jesus said, 'The poor you'll have with you always,' and there are people who are always going to be financially challenged, and we need to step up to the plate to do our part to help them," Jones said.

If you would like to help, you can contact the church through their website or mail donations to 101 S.W. 21st St., Oak Grove, Mo., 64075.