What is Second Harvest Community Food Bank?

We are so glad you asked. We are a nonprofit food distribution center that serves 19 counties in Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas. We distribute food through our direct service programs, but we also work with over 100 Partner Agencies to distribute food throughout our area.

We are proud to be a member of Feeding America, the Missouri Food Bank Association, Feeding Missouri and the Hunger Coalition.

Visit our History page to find out more about how Second Harvest was founded. You’ll be inspired to join us in our fight against hunger.

Just how much food does Second Harvest distribute?

Last year alone, we distributed 5.1 million pounds of food.

What are the hours of operation?

Second Harvest Community Food Bank welcomes members Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fresh Start, Second Harvest’s onsite food pantry, is open five days a week during the following hours:

  • Monday: 11:00 – 4:00
  • Tuesday: 12:00 – 6:00
  • Wednesday: 11:00 – 4:00
  • Thursday: 12:00 – 6:00
  • Friday: 8:00 – 2:00
  • Sign-ups for Buchanan County Pantry Cards (Yellow Cards) Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

What types of food does Second Harvest distribute?

We strive to provide all the foods that families need for balanced nutrition. We not only handle non-perishable foods, but also fresh product, dairy and meat. We are proud to say that 75 percent of the food that is distributed by Second Harvest is considered nutritious. This includes produce, eggs, dairy, lean meat, peanut butter, soups, rice, pasta and 100 percent juices.

Where do you get the food?

We welcome food donations from food manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, food drives, the federal government, wholesale and from the national organization, Feeding America. We are also able to purchase food using donated funds in order to provide a consistent supply of products to make complete meals.

If I make a monetary donation, where does that money go?

Giving money is a great way to support the fight against hunger in our community. You can be sure that your money is going directly to help our neighbors that need it most. Ninety-six percent of funds donated to Second Harvest go directly to providing food for families. Only four percent of each donated dollar is used for administrative or fundraising expenses.

What does the 4-star rating from Charity Navigator mean?

It means that Charity Navigator has certified Second Harvest as having sound fiscal management practices and is committed to accountability and transparency. We are very proud of this rating!

I don’t notice a lot of hungry people in my community. Who does Second Harvest serve?

It can be hard to tell whether someone is getting the food and nutrition they need. The food insecure in our community might even be your neighbor or your coworker. We serve 15,000 seniors, children and working-poor families each week with food assistance. Thirty percent of our members are children and 20 percent are seniors. Nearly 65 percent of the households we serve include at least one working adult. You can find detailed information about food-insecurity by county by accessing Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap interactive map.

What is a food desert?

It is an irony that much of the hunger in the United States is concentrated in the areas where our food is grown. Food deserts were defined by the USDA in the 2008 Farm Bill as “an area in the United States with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly such an area composed of predominately lower income communities.”

Recently Feeding America released an interactive map called Map the Meal Gap, which shows detailed data about food-insecurity for every county in the nation. View the map here. 

What does food insecurity look like in Missouri and Kansas? See Feeding America's landmark Map the Meal Gap information for details for every county and every state.
What does food insecurity look like in Missouri and Kansas? See Feeding America’s landmark Map the Meal Gap information for details for every county and every state.

How can I get food or become a Partner Agency?

Anyone in need of food in Buchanan County can utilize the food pantry system in St. Joseph. See our 2013 Emergency Food Assistance Resource Guide for how to get food assistance.

To become a Partner Agency of Second Harvest, please contact Elise Ezzell at 816.364.3663.

How do I hold a food drive?

Food drives are a critical way we fulfill our mission to fight hunger in the Second Harvest service area. We welcome you and your local organization to help us stock our local food pantries for Second Harvest and our Partner Agencies. Last year, nearly 200,000 pounds of food was donated from food drives. We ask that you review our guidelines before you begin. If your organization would like to host a food drive, contact Michelle Fagerstone at 816-364-3663.

You've sold me. How do I get involved?

Take a look at our list of Partner Agencies throughout the 19-county service area to find one that is convenient for you. We welcome your donation of time, food or money!

I still have questions. Can I talk with someone?

Sure! For any questions not answered here, please call 816.364.3663 or email us.