Leachville Foundation welcomed with grand opening

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
JoAnn Cardin, secretary and contact person for the Leachville Foundation, helped community members load groceries during the grand opening of the organization's food pantry. Cardin said the Foundation had 400 five pound bags of potatoes donated by Black Gold and 40 cases of cereal donated by Post. She also wanted to recognized the work release program workers for painting the interior of the food pantry as well as building shelves. "We had new doors donated by Lowes, two air conditioners with heat were also donated," Cardin said. "We did all this with no money, everything was donated." To donate to the Leachville Foundation contact Cardin at 870-539-2921. (Town Crier photo/Christie Zolman)

The Leachville Foundation Inc. held its grand opening Saturday, Feb. 7, giving community members a chance to see first hand the new food pantry as well as discuss future projects with organization members.

Located in the former Girls Scout house on Leachville main street, Leachville Foundation's home base does not just have a food pantry but will house other projects in the future. Matthew Sills, member of the Leachville Foundation, explained that the organization's mission is to improve life in the town of Leachville, through support of economic development, cultural development and quality of life issues such as affordable housing, elder care, hunger programs, education, police and fire protection, disaster response and preparedness and others. All donations and projects stay in Leachville.

"We do need volunteers, but it is very sporadic at the moment because we are still in the beginning stages," Sills explained. "The best way for people to get involved would be to contact us via our Facebook page or to contact one of the members directly (myself, JoAnn Cardin, Michael Webster and Mark Thrasher). We may not have a need right then, but we can put names on our list of people to be contacted when we need help. Needs that we have had up to this point have mostly been focused on getting the food pantry up and running: cleaning it out, painting, planting flowers, etc. One need I see in the future, with regard to the food pantry, is having volunteers help stock shelves and be present for food distribution."

Sills said the Leachville Foundation's main focus now is the food pantry but has helped purchase paint for repainting the fire hydrants in the city. He went on to say both the hydrant and food pantry projects have and will be done using volunteers from the community, students from BIC and workers from the Mississippi County work release program.

"We are open to any other ideas and suggestions that members of the community may have or see need for in Leachville," Sills said.

The Leachville Foundation is accepting food and monetary donations. Sills said the best way to donate food is to contact one of the organization's members as the hours of operation are dependent on when volunteers can be available.

"We can come get donations from you or we can set up a time to meet you at the building for drop off," Sills said. "Our goal is to eventually have boxes for accepting donations set up in various places around town. With regard to monetary donations, they can be given to Foundation members (checks made out to Leachville Foundation) or individuals can print a donation form off of our Facebook page and mail it in. The BIC High School EAST Initiative class is in the process of creating a website for us that will allow us to accept donations online."

The Leachville Foundation is excited to be able to help community members not only through the food pantry projects but with future projects as well.

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