MU Extension faculty and staff pitch in to keep this small county’s food lifeline going.

PRINCETON, Mo. – University of Missouri Extension youth program associate April Meighen, livestock specialist Jenna Monnig and county extension council member Kelsey Jincks stepped up to make sure the Mercer County food pantry can continue the weekly distribution that more than 50 area families depend on. Tucked in the basement of the Princeton United Methodist Church, the pantry is usually run by volunteers in the age range at greatest risk of complications from COVID-19.

Meighen, Monnig and Jincks converted the pantry into a mobile operation. They shared new pickup procedures on a popular local swap shop site, the county extension Facebook page and the local radio station. Along with a couple of community volunteers, they gathered information from families as they pulled into the parking lot, then packed up the needed food items and delivered the bags to the vehicles.

“Extension is part of the community,” Meighen said. “Whatever the needs are, we can find the resources to meet them and help people out. We will find a way.”