Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)By Brett Blume

OVERLAND, Mo. (KMOX) – A big reversal of fortune for a local food pantry that was expecting to shut down for good this coming weekend.

The Rev. Marsha Brown, executive director fo the Ritenour Co-Care pantry on Lackland in Overland, says it definitely looked like the end of the road due to a lack of funding and a dearth of volunteers.

“We were talking about how were we going to liquidate this place, that’s how permanent it was feeling,” Brown says. “They (pantry patrons) were so devastated when we were going to be closing, it was just like a funeral around here.”

But then word started to spread via local media, and that’s when things began to turn around, according to Brown.

Immediately, $53,000 in donations rolled in — enough to cover an entire year of expenses.

food2 Ritenour Co Care Pantry Will Stay Open After All

(KMOX/Brett Blume)

And then, at least 15 new volunteers stepped forward to boost the pantry’s total to more than 60.

Those factors combined to ensure that the pantry that serves more than 500 families — a total of some 2,000 people — will remain operational for the foreseeable future.

food3 Ritenour Co Care Pantry Will Stay Open After All

(KMOX/Brett Blume)

Brown has been amazed at the community response to their plight.

“A lot of people care,” she said. “And when they found out how this was going to hurt people, they came forward. And that’s very heart-warming.”

Now the pantry at the rear of 9516 Lackland Road is taking on a new grant writer and accountant, and will look at applying to become part of the United Way to ensure a steady source of financial support going forward.

To find out more, check out the pantry’s Facebook page or call them at (314) 427-7204.

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