2014 was a big year for the Cloud County Resource Center, Food Bank and Club 81 — and we have made some big changes to our building, services and center since our new director Tina Stillwell took over.
So we hit the ground running in 2015. That means we’re here to help people in our community who are struggling.
Most of us in Concordia are thankful for the blessings we enjoy. But for some, every week is spent wondering if there’ll be enough food to keep the family fed.
Here are a few examples of those faces we see at the center (with their names changes to keep their identities confidential):
- John is a 78-year-old veteran who lives on just over $900 a month. After paying all his bills, he often runs out of money for food. When I ask him what he does when he runs out of money, he answers, “I just don’t eat.”
- Kristy is a single mom who has three children and two jobs. She was getting a small amount of food stamps but was cut off because she didn’t get her last check stub in on time. After paying her bills, including daycare and diapers, she does not know how she will feed her children tonight. It will be a week or more before she will get another check or any help with emergency assistance.
- Jack is a husband and father of four children; his wife is a full-time college student. They realize that an education gives their family hope for a better future so they do all they can to keep Mom in school. Jack works a full-time job and uses his lunchtime to pick his children up from school so that he doesn’t lose an hour of work, or even worse, lose his job. They struggle feeding their family and paying bills every month.
- Barbara is an 80-year-old widow who is embarrassed to ask for help. She can barely pay her bills, let alone buy food, on what she gets from Social Security. She cries when she is forced to come into the Resource Center to ask for help.
This is just a brief glimpse into the lives of some of the people we see daily here at the Cloud County Resource Center and Food Bank.
Because the center is run solely by volunteers and with donations, we rely greatly on the support of the people here in our community for help. I am sad to say that we are often left searching for creative ways to get the help and resources needed for the people in need here in our community.
I would just like to close by thanking those of you here in Cloud County for your help and donations. I would also like to ask that you consider ways to help in the future.
Volunteering is one way, and it can be a very rewarding and enriching experience. It’s a great way to further a cause, develop new skills and meet new people, more importantly it can make a major difference in the lives of the people of your community.
— Camey Thurner is a volunteer at the Cloud County Resource Center and Food Bank, providing community outreach and advocacy. She also helps to run the Wednesday Night Supper at the First Christian Church, delivers meals for Meals on Wheels, is an executive board member for the Concordia Lions Club, serves on the board of the North Central Kansas Down Syndrome Society, is board president of the Concordia Housing Authority and volunteers with numerous other organizations.