By Courtney Cole/ Delta Staff Writer
Now in its second year, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s food recovery program took a major step forward with the addition of an off-campus location and commercial refrigeration and freezing equipment.
The food the NLA collects usually come from the cafeteria at Missouri Valley College. As a result, food that is not served by the end of the night goes to families in need. In Saline County 16% of children are food insecure which means they only have a limited amount of food available to them and once that food is gone, it is gone.
NLA members deliver food to multiple locations in Marshall, such as the Marshall school districts Homeless Outreach Opportunity Team (HOOT) house, to multiple homeless families and for anyone who just needs a good meal. The food that is delivered to the HOOT house feeds 25 youth a day.
NLA has recently acquired their very own building, which is just for their food recovery program. From there, they plan to expand their food recovery and even increase those in the community who they plan to reach. Last week they installed the fridge and a freezer where they are able to hold and store more food for longer periods of time.
“Having our own building with commercial fridges and freezers creates the opportunity for us to package and save the food, in addition to immediately delivering it,” said NLA Member Kylee Hodgson. “Now, we can recover more food during lunch and start to pull food at dinnertime as well. This will help us double the amount of food that we save and distribute to hungry people. The excess food we recover will create opportunities for anyone in the community to get an extra meal when they need it. Once our building opens, we accept with open arms anyone who might want a meal, no questions asked.”
Steven Sims, who is part of NLA, said he had lost a close friend to suicide and knew it was his passion to help people and make a difference in the mental health field. Because of this organization he has gotten the chance to meet many people and he has loved every bit of it.
Sims said he is so excited to have the new building as long as the fridge and freezers will help many more people that are in need. Also building those relationships along that way with so many people and the organizations that the food is going too.