In Boonville, Hope Central is one of the biggest forces for good and community support around. The organization dedicates itself to helping those who need assistance when it comes to having enough to eat. They operate a pantry on the West end of Boonville that provides food to members of the community.
There is a broad range of items available at Hope Central from frozen vegetables, canned goods, baked goods and household toiletries. Volunteers help out those who enter looking for relief and support. Or, as their mission statement puts it on their website, “Hope Central strives to diminish the impact of poverty by providing resources such as food and clothing, but also by teaching life skills and other resources and support to individuals and families.”
Last year Hope Central was unable to provide the level of assistance they generally do because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. There was difficulty getting supplies and they were unable to operate using the grocery store model that they traditionally use. But now they have begun to return to that model and provide relief in the same way they did before the pandemic. They explained that, “In-person shopping gives our participants the experience of shopping at a grocery store without the burden of having to pick and choose items to fit a certain budget,” in a recent public release.
In a continued effort to provide community support, Hope Central is also launching a Getting Ahead group starting Sept. 30.
“Getting Ahead aims to provide financial empowerment for people of all ages and backgrounds to make choices that positively impact themselves, their families and their community,” said Hope Central.
The program will require a 12-week commitment and will allow for connection between members of the community with a common interest in helping one another. They are also partnering with the First Christian Church for the program.
One volunteer, Dana Okes, explained that she first volunteered 10 years ago. Okes said after coming in to do community service in exchange for help with a utility bill, she found inspiration by helping people through faith and volunteering and stayed around.
“I was going to do 10 hours of volunteer work. But God has blessed me here and I never wanted to leave. I’m still here doing my 10 hours,” Okes said.
Hope Central takes donations for food and other household goods, they request soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste, tampons, pads, canned food, cereal, pasta, peanut butter and rice, along with other non perishable food items.