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Joplin shelters' and nonprofits' shelves empty of food, necessities

JOPLIN, Mo. — Some area organizations that pride themselves in helping the less fortunate, are in the unfortunate position of needing some help themselves.

“We are not doing any food boxes today because our pantry shelves are empty, they’re empty. So we just don’t have any food to give to them,” said Dianna Gurley, Executive Director, Souls Harbor.

This sign on the front door of Souls Harbor pretty much tells the story. It’s the first time in the six years that Dianna Gurley has run the ministry, that she’s put it up.

“We ourselves have gone shopping and we’ve filled the pantry a couple of times now, and we are, and that just since August, we’ve already filled it twice, and um we’re back to square one where we just don’t have anything now,” said Gurley.

But hers isn’t the only ministry in the area dealing with a food shortfall. So is Watered Gardens.

“And the shelves are getting empty or are empty a lot of the times. This is just one example here in the basement where we do a lot of storing of the food, had one volunteer who’s been with us about 7 years say he’s never seen the shelves this empty,” said Doug Gamble, Outreach Center Director, Watered Gardens Ministries.

“Last year for the entire total of the year, we did 91 hundred food boxes, this year we were already at 10 thousand food boxes at September First, that’s how much the need in our community has grown since last year,” Gurley added.

“Lots of the donations that are typically coming in either from individuals or from businesses or otherwise have really dropped off,” said Gamble.

And it’s not just food that’s running out.

“We’re using a lot of coats right now and we definitely need blankets– those we are out of. We have a few little throws but we don’t have blankets per se to give,” added Gurley.

Crosslines Ministries also needs both blankets and winter coats right now. With one cold snap already in the books, it’s only a matter of time till winter takes hold for good.

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