Major $20,000 gift marks step toward helping Leavenworth food pantry rebuild failing roof

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- Back in June, Leavenworth Mission was fighting for survival. The nonprofit food bank's ceiling was on the verge of collapse and was threatening to force its closure.

Since then, the community has rallied, and a huge gift will make vital roof repairs possible. But your help is still needed.

People served by the Leavenworth Mission know how vital it is.

"It's just a blessing, and I'd just hate to see it go," client Tamera Langston said.

"It would definitely be devastating," client Herman Hicks said.

The Mission provides more than 23,000 meals a month to those in need, but its operations have been crippled by a crumbling roof.

"It definitely breaks our hearts because it's making it so difficult to function inside here to give the services that we offer," said Iris Arnold, president of Leavenworth Mission.

The food pantry's space was shut down after chunks of the concrete roof started crashing down. Some limited service is being offered in the thrift store and outside when weather allows.

"When you hear the stories of the people in the food pantry lines, they need us, so we want to be here for them," Arnold said.

Making all the needed roof repairs will cost $75,000. It's a fundraising goal that's seemed insurmountable.

But it's now a lot more attainable, thanks to the community's generosity and a matching grant gift of $20,000 from the Mission's partner organization, Second Harvest of St. Joseph.

"It's amazing. It takes big hearts to offer such a great sacrificial gift of $20,000, so we're truly grateful," Arnold said.

A loan's been secured to get work started, but Leavenworth Mission is counting on the community's continued support to get the roof fully rebuilt.

"We want to stay here. We love what we do. That's why we're here," Arnold said.

If you'd like to help the Leavenworth Mission with its roof project, you can learn more and donate here.

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