Church needs help catching up with food bank expansion

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Good news for the Kansas Food Bank has created growing pains for a Wichita church's food pantry. The Table of Hope Metropolitan Community Church says it doesn't have the equipment to match the new facilities as the Food Bank's expansion begins.

"This is one of the best food pantries I've been to," said Josefina Quintero, who's picking up food from Table of Hope on Tuesday.  She's one of about 1,200 people who make the weekly trek to the church's food pantry.  "Sometimes you don't have the means to get what you need. And when I come here I get everything that I really need at home."

But the pantry could soon be forced to close its doors.

"It's a great problem!" says Pastor Jackie Carter about the cause.  But it doesn't change the fact she soon won't have the equipment she needs to transport food from the Kansas Food Bank to her church's food pantry.  

They've been using a trailer, loading it at the Food Bank's back door.  But it's too short for the loading docks they're going to have to use once the expansion begins October 1st.  Meanwhile, their back-up pickup is too small for all of the food they need to transport.

"We bring in about 20 to 24 pallets of food a week," Carter said.  "And to do that  two pallets at a time in a pickup truck would not allow us to get enough food in here on Tuesdays to provide the service that we do now.  So we would probably need to not have a food bank on Tuesdays." 

A larger truck would be the best solution, either owned or rented.  But, the church funds its pantry through grants and donations.  That money all goes straight to the purchase of food.

"I can't take it out and just buy a truck," said Carter.  "So we have to find a way that we can have either a flatbed or a panel truck, something that can back up to the loading dock, be at the appropriate height and receive the pallets of food that we need."

The church is hoping someone will donate either the money for a truck, or a truck itself, or come up with a solution they haven't thought of yet.

"If I had the means, I would say here's the truck," said Josefina.  "Because it's worth it!  Really."
 

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