GLADSTONE, Mo. — A new food pantry in Gladstone, Missouri is describing itself as the first in the Kansas City area to focus specifically on serving seniors.

Seniors (and this is not unique to Kansas City) are a growing demographic with many relying on food assistance to keep from going hungry.

Opening at the Northland Shepherd’s Center, the new food pantry is called “Plate of Hope.”

Staff is anticipating a huge demand, a situation that highlights the struggles for seniors trying to balance bills for food, medicine, and other standard items.

Seniors will need to qualify to use this service with workers making sure those individuals are not eligible for other benefits possibly overlooked.

But staff says there is no shortage of people who have fallen through the cracks.

“Our client base is relatively large. I believe we’re in the 500+ zone,” Todd Hess, executive director of the Northland Shepherd’s Center, said.

“We serve the [age] 60+ community of seniors that still are in their homes and we help them thrive through and we try to help them maintain an independence in their own homes,” Hess said.

“We also have a personal hygiene and healthcare area where they can come and pick up all their personal needs,” Hess said.

Seniors will need to make appointments with a maximum of two visits allowed per month. But speaking to the need, it’s expected to be busy even with that restriction.

“The amount of traffic we run through this building a day is immense,” Hess said.

The Northland Shepherd’s Center also runs the Meals on Wheels programs in Clay and Platte counties.

For more details on the new food pantry, applying or donating, see here.

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