Nourishing Families

At Second Harvest, we are building hunger-free communities. In Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas, there is a significant need for food assistance, with many school districts in the area reporting that at least 60 percent of their enrolled children qualify for free and reduced price lunches.

Close the GapThe GardenHarvest HealingFresh Start

Close the Gap-SNAP

Families and individuals that qualify for enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) get a boost from Close the Gap. With two full-time Food Security Coordinators, members that enroll in SNAP have help and a liaison in getting started with SNAP.
Close the Gap was started through assistance from the Missouri Promoting Food Security Program. In its first year, Close the Gap helped 610 individuals get started with SNAP, resulting in 774,231 meals provided to these families.

Our SNAP Outreach Team can help you determine if you are eligible. Simply call our SNAP hotline at 844-803-3663 or email us at

Enroll for Close the Gap

Deb Ramey, Community Outreach Coordinator
816.364.3663 Ext. 207

Lona Morgan, Community Outreach Coordinator
816.364.3663 Ext. 213




The Garden

The Garden is an innovative and exciting program at Second Harvest!

If you love being outside, getting your hands dirty and learning how to grow healthy, nutrient-dense food, consider joining the effort to fight hunger at The Garden. Here are just a few benefits of getting involved with this initiative:

  • The Garden provides a low-cost, low-technology opportunity to teach time-tested, sustainable gardening techniques that are accessible to all community members
  • The Garden teaches gardening practices in a way that empowers all community members to grow their own healthy foods without a big investment or the use of chemicals.
  • The food grown at The Garden is used to supplement our Senior Box Program, which provides a 35-pound box of healthy food to our senior members once each month.

Harvest Healing

When an individual is undergoing cancer treatment, their doctor may prescribe complete-nutrition drinks, such as Boost or Ensure. These nutritional drinks can help a patient get the nutrients they need when their appetite may be compromised from their treatments. Unfortunately, the drinks are expensive and patients may not be able to afford to buy them.

Through Harvest Healing, Second Harvest Community Food Bank is able to assist cancer patients with the vital nutrients they need to heal. A patient only needs to bring a doctor’s note to Second Harvest and they will receive a case of Boost, Ensure, or an equivalent product once each month.

Illness does not discriminate based on income, and neither does Second Harvest Community Food Bank. Harvest Healing allows us to help low-income cancer patients, so that they can put all of their thoughts and energy on healing, while we help with nutrition.

If you are in need of assistance through Harvest Healing, we are here to help. To enroll or for more information, please contact Dona McAndrews at 816.364.3663 or email

Fresh Start

Like an oasis in a food desert, Fresh Start welcomes you to a community food pantry stocked with fresh, nutritious foods. Fresh Start is located on Second Harvest’s campus, a location that allows us to serve those that might otherwise not have access to healthy food options.

How do I qualify to shop at Fresh Start?

To shop at Fresh Start, you must first obtain a Yellow Card from Second Harvest. Our members that have a household income of less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline will qualify for membership. If you are a family of four, for instance, and have an income of less than $46,000, you may be eligible to shop at Fresh Start.

Can I volunteer at Fresh Start?

Yes! Visit our volunteer page to make sure you qualify first, then call Second Harvest to schedule a time to help. We need volunteers to stock shelves, sort donations and assist members as they shop.

What will you need to get food assistance?

In addition to the over 100 Partner Agencies, you may also receive food through Fresh Start, Second Harvest’s community food pantry.  Fresh Start is located at the main Second Harvest Community Food Bank office, 915 Douglas, in St. Joseph.

A Buchanan County food pantry card is a punch card and is used for one time per month shopping at a Buchanan County food pantry located closest to your neighborhood.

The cards are valid for one (1) year. To receive a food pantry card, please provide:

  • Photo identification
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of income
  • Social Security cards & birth dates for all household members

Need a Yellow Card? We can help. Sign-ups for Buchanan County Pantry Cards (Yellow Cards) will be on:

Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

To find out more about click here:  Food Assistance Guide.

Fresh Start Is Open for Your Convenience at these Hours:

Monday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: CLOSED
Thursday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm