(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Monday morning, volunteers were kicking off phase 3 of the Farmers to Families Program.
Month after month, hungry families have filled the East Hills Mall parking lot and there is no sign of the lines letting up anytime soon.
“Just cannot believe there is so much of a need,” said Heather Seeter, Farmers to Families volunteer.
Volunteers said cars began lining up at 4:30 a.m. Monday morning, waiting for their share of the USDA produce.
“I actually walked down to see how many rows we had and we had 18 rows of cars. With about 15-20 cars per row, so I estimate about 300 cars,” said Seeter.
This new phase is still giving families a chance to pick up produce twice a week, Mondays and Thursday beginning at 9 a.m., but volunteers said there are some new limitations families should be aware of. Seeter said, "The previous phases we were able to do five boxes per car. Now, it is limited to two boxes per car because we only have one trailer. Before, we had two.”
One car gets two boxes of food, two gallons of milk. While it's three boxes less than families are used to receiving, volunteers who have had to use the program to feed their own families, said anything helps during this time of financial insecurity.
"Yeah, it’s definitely helped my family. I was very, very grateful for it. It helped get us through and I was able to stretch that and then I decided to come out and volunteer because it’s an awesome program. It’s worthy and it’s definitely helping our community,” said Seeter.
Volunteers said they aren't sure what happens after phase 3, but hope winter brings another opportunity to feed Northwest Missouri.
Phase 3 of the Farmers to Families program begins September 28 - October 29th.
The distribution will continue to be at the East Hills Shopping Center parking lot.