Submitted By Patty Rolofson
The Tarkio/Westboro/Fairfax Food Pantry is run by a volunteer organization dedicated to helping residents in need in those three communities and the surrounding rural areas. The food pantry is governed by a board comprised of the churches in each of the communities. Each church provides at least two individuals to serve on the board, as well as the pastors. Board meetings are held bi-monthly to discuss matters that come before the board.
The food that is dispersed is obtained through donations, both food and cash, as well as items from Second Harvest in St. Joseph, Missouri. The pantry has two volunteer buyers who are responsible for the purchasing of food, stocking the shelves, and completing the necessary paperwork.
Patrons wishing to use the food pantry must fill out certification paperwork that is provided by the office of Community Services, Inc. The paperwork is easy to fill out and once completed, patrons are welcome to visit the food pantry once each month. There they will be assisted in selecting from a large variety of products.
Volunteers from each of the churches take turns opening the food pantry the third and fourth Tuesdays and Thursdays of each month from 9 to 11 a.m., as well as the third Tuesday of each month in the evening from 7 to 8 p.m. Patrons should make arrangements to come to the food pantry only during one of the regularly scheduled times and dates. The food pantry has an inclement weather policy in place to insure the safety of both the patrons and volunteers. If the Tarkio R-I School District is closed due to inclement weather, the food pantry is also closed. If the school’s opening time is delayed, the food pantry will also delay opening and will open at 10 a.m.
Although the food pantry can always use donations of food and cash, specific items that can always be used are soup, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, pasta, and canned fruits and vegetables. Cash donations allow the buyers to purchase needed items often in quantity. The board is most appreciative of all donations as well as the efforts of the many volunteers that make this ministry possible.
For more information, contact any church and questions will be directed to the correct individual. The food pantry is located at 415 Main Street, Tarkio. Stop by to learn more about this amazing ministry.