Pancake feed to help replenish Multi-Service Center food pantry
There was plenty of room on the shelves at the De Soto Multi-Service Center's food pantry Tuesday for more food.
De Soto Multi-Service Center director Jodi Hitchcock estimated the pantry, which serves an average of 50 families a month, had from a one- to two-week supply of food left.
That's not unusual for the summer months when demand picks up because children eligible for free and reduced lunches at school are home and the lack of school food drives that keep the pantry well stocked, Hitchcock said.
The empty shelves may seem alarming, but Hitchcock said experience has taught her not to worry.
"Something always comes through for us," she said. "We might go through lean times, but the community always seems to come through. During the summer, the weekly donations from the Methodist and Baptist churches are a God send."
And just as the shelves are getting lean, Hitchcock is expecting two drives to stock the shelves with enough food to take the pantry into September.
The first is Johnson County government's annual Feed the Need, which collects money for distribution to the county's food pantries.
The other drive was unexpected. De Soto resident Jeremy Pryor is organizing a pancake feed to raise money for the pantry.
Pryor said the pancake feed would be from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the De Soto Senior Center, 32905 W. 84th Street. The cost of the meal, which will include pancakes by Chris Cakes, sausage, orange drink and coffee, will be $6 for adults and $4 for children 12 and younger, he said.
"It's just something I wanted to do," the 34-year-old truck driver said. "I remember doing a pancake feed when I was a Boy Scout.
"I talked to Jodi. I know they are needing food. I'm doing it as a contribution to the community so they can feed those who need fed."
Organizing the breakfast has been time consuming, Pryor said. But he said sponsors, especially Miner's Market, Mike's Liquor and Mid America Roadworks, have stepped up to help with donations.
"A little help here and there, and I'm hoping to get it all wrapped up so the money we raise Saturday can go toward the fundraiser," he said. "It's not about me, it's about the community pitching to and all these sponsors."
Hitchcock is impressed with Pryor's effort, his modesty aside.
"He just came out of the blue," she said. "He's put a lot of work into making this happen."
The community can reward Pryor's work by showing up for the breakfast and also dropping canned goods in the container that will be on site, Hitchcock said.
"We're just hoping everybody in town shows up," she said. "Who doesn't like pancakes?"