(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) It’s been a few weeks since the opening of the Crossing Campus Homeless Shelter, and now that things are running smoothly staff are onto the next project. The Campus is turning a newly inherited building into a nutrition center offering fresh produce and pantry supplies to low income or homeless people in downtown St. Joseph.
“We were graciously given the building and a lot of the supplies and labor has been free too. Just to get supplies without doing any work would have retailed for over $45,000,” said Danny Gatch with the Crossing.
Gatch and his team are also getting some help from Second Harvest Food Bank.
“They'll be helping with supplies and setting up and distribution,” said Gatch.
Chief Operating Officer TJ Bauer worked with the Crossing Campus team to model their building design as a mini version of the Second Harvest warehouse in St. Joseph. They’ll also partner with the Nutrition Center to provide fresh produce and pantry goods to an area many would call a food desert.
“This is quite a food desert. There's no grocery stores within quite a distance of here,” said Gatch.
In addition to giving out food, the Nutrition Center will also provide ways to make that food last by partnering with educators from the Missouri University Extension Office.
“You can teach somebody that they can make an appetizing meal that can be inexpensive and include several food groups that are good for them,” said nutrition educator Debbie Bennett.
Gatch says the goal is to have the Nutrition Center open by the new year.