SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Crosslines is a distributor that gets their food from Ozarks Food Harvest, but this year Ozarks Food Harvest has been serving 2.5 million meals a month, compared to their usual 1.5 million due to COVID-19.

“It would be easy for me to catch it, so I don’t get out as much,” said Kathy Clark, Crosslines customer. “Because I don’t want to catch it because I have health reasons that my immune system isn’t where it used to be.”

Raymond Carty is struggling more to get food on the table after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“You can’t go to the grocery store to get things. They all run out,” said Carty, another Crosslines customer.

And the drive-thru lines at local nonprofits like Crosslines help minimize contact as well.

“We’re trying to keep a family of three going,” Clark said, “at that time, you know, I’m not able to work, so it has come in handy for us, and they’re always there to help us in any way.”

Tom Faulkner, the director of Crosslines, said the nonprofit is seeing an increase of people in need.

“In March, when COVID first hit, there was a large panic,” said Faulkner. “We provide food to about 60,000 people annually, through crosslines, and those numbers have gone up significantly because of COVID. We saw at that time about a 46% increase in the number of families that come to us. There were around 2,300 families that were knocking on our door saying we need some help.”

And this is where Crosslines comes in.

“They help a lot,” Carty said, “they give us cereal, peanut butter, meat, milk, all kinds of canned goods. If there isn’t a Crosslines, I don’t know what we would do. I really don’t. This place has just been fantastic.”

“They’re a blessing,” said Clark, “they really are. I’m glad we have them here to help each and everybody.”

“We don’t want them to be challenged with paying rent, paying a doctor’s bill or something along those lines and then having food at the same time,” said Faulkner.

He said the donors are the lifeblood for Crosslines since they opened 51-years-ago, “if it weren’t for the donors, to write those checks or to go out empty their cabinets, go to the grocery store, bring that food in here, we wouldn’t have the food to give it out. And if it’s not for the volunteers, we couldn’t afford to hire that many people to serve.”

Also, at Crosslines now, there’s a new online menu where you can pick out what food you want.

You and your family can get the food you want and meets your dietary needs.

To access that online menu, click here.