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Crosslines Faces Increase in People Seeking Food Assistance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Crosslines, a service agency of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, is facing a 35 percent increase for the year in people receiving food assistance, according to statement.
"Our agencies are seeing increases across the board in hunger, homelessness, and child abuse and neglect."
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Crosslines, a service agency of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks, is facing a 35 percent increase for the year in people receiving food assistance, according to statement.

These numbers translate to an average increase from 122 people per day to 162 people per day seeking food assistance, with half of the clients served being children.

According a recent study on hunger, Map the Meal Gap, over 43,000 individuals in Greene County are currently facing food insecurity.

The recently released Community Focus Report identified child poverty as a red-flag issue, which correlates with hunger. In the report, the MO Kids Count noted that 30.9 percent of children under age six are living in poverty – a 12.8 percent increase since 2010.

“Many families are struggling in our community,” says Mark Struckhoff, Executive Director of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks in the statement. “Our agencies are seeing increases across the board in hunger, homelessness, and child abuse and neglect.”

According to the statement, Crosslines increased the number of visits to the pantry by a family from three per year to six times per year in response to the closing of a Springfield food pantry in January 2013.

The rise in numbers of new families seeking assistance and decreased availability of food, and decreased donations, has resulted in less food on the pantry shelves.

The Crosslines pantry, which has been directly serving low-income families for 44 years, is on pace to serve 50,000 people in 2013.

“Families depend on us to help them in a crisis and we depend on the generosity of the community to help us meet the need,” says Tom Faulkner, Crosslines Agency Director in the statement.

If you would like to help Crosslines in meeting the rising demand for food, both monetary and in-kind donations are being accepted.

Donations can be mailed to The Council of Churches, PO Box 3947, Springfield, MO 65808 or made securely online at CCOzarks.org.

To donate food, donations can be delivered to Crosslines located at 615 N. Glenstone Avenue or call 417-869-0563.

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