Texas County Food Pantry remodels

Submitted Photo

By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

The Texas County Food Pantry has been remodeling and updating the current facility since the beginning of the year and the work continues. In January the proposal was completed and approved by the nine-member volunteer board, and meetings with contractors were held.
“All minor thrift store construction is being completed by the Construction Coordinator, Frank Malchert. He is also working with the contractors completing the larger projects,” says Katie Mutzebaugh, Executive Director.
The Thrift store has undergone a remodel, including the changing room; the remodel also makes it wheelchair accessible.
Submitted Photo
The Thrift Store changing room 
is undergoing remodeling.
This part of the remodel is complete with the exception of a special doorknob being installed. Also in the thrift store the clothing will be moved to the front of the store and the furniture to the back. A door has been added between the back of the thrift store and warehouse, allowing for easier transition of large furniture items.
The enhancements include a new sliding, electric breakaway front door that allows for easier access. This is an update that immediately benefits the elderly, handicapped and other patrons when trying to maneuver a cart through the door.
A full-length awning will be added to the front of the store covering the sidewalk and the new electric door, providing cover for patrons of the facility.
Earlier this month a low wall between the back of the thrift store and the food pantry was replaced with an 8-ft. wall. The wall will also include a 20-ft counter on which clients can bag groceries. This counter will replace the one small table previously being used for bagging groceries. New computers will replace the older technology now in use.
According to Mutzebaugh, “It’s been slow going at times due to the weather this winter, but we are getting things done.”
The thrift store is open for patrons Tue., Wed. and Sat. from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Their Thu. and Fri. hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The thrift store will be holding a storewide sale, Wed. March 27 through Thu. April 4 during regular store hours in anticipation of the thrift store remodel. The Thrift Store will close April 5 through April 19 for the remodel, reopening on April 20. The Food Pantry and Emergency Assistance will remain open during this time.
Donations of gently used clothing and household items are appreciated to be resold at a reasonable cost or provided free to those in need. Unusable clothing is baled and trucked along with acceptable shoes and toys to Remains, Inc. in St. Louis for recycling to Third-world counties.
The Ozarks Food Bank, with the exception of food donated locally, supplies the Food Pantry. Your dollar donation can buy multiple cans of food or food items through the Ozarks Food Bank. Food Department hours are Tue. – Fri. from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Distribution is closed the second Wed. of every month for food delivery to satellite locations. Texas County Food Pantry is also a provider for the Senior Food Program via the Senior Box, a USDA Commodities Supplemental Food Program for low-income individuals 60 years or older. There are four satellite locations across the county. For more information on this program call 417-967-4484 and ask for the Food Manager.
The Texas County Food Pantry, in addition to the food provisions and the thrift store, also headquarters the county’s Salvation Army Service Unit. Other services include emergency services (via grant funds, other entities and donations) for rent, utilities, mortgage payments and minor home repairs. They oversee grant funding from the Missouri Housing Development Commission, which assists the homeless or at risk for nine counties. One time assistance is available for those that have experienced a family or personal disaster.
 “The Ministerial Alliances of Cabool, Houston, and Licking recognized the poverty of the people of Texas County, the largest county in Missouri. Although the various churches had small pantries to assist the people, the church pantries proved to be too small to provide ample assistance. In November 1989, the church pantries were consolidated. The Houston United Methodist Church offered space and the Texas County Food Pantry was born, flourished and was incorporated in March of 1990. In May 1994, the non-profit corporation, through a donation from The Bank of Houston, acquired the present location. In 2006, a building addition and renovation was made possible through a USDA Rural Development grant,” says their website.
The annual assistance given to individuals from available resources include 21,000 with food; 358 for rent/mortgage; 308 for utilities; 60 for lodging and transportation; 232 for healthcare; 125 for disaster relief and 285 for other needs. Texas County Food Pantry collaborates with numerous local, area, regional and government entities to provide resources to area residents.
The Texas County Food Pantry, Inc. may be contacted at 102A South Sam Houston Blvd, Houston, MO 65483, by phone at 417-967-4484 or by email at tcfpdirector@centurytel.net.



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