Pantry Receives Huge Donation To Help Families In Need

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With the help of donations from Hy-Vee and Hormel more than 700 metro families will have a meal for Christmas.

On Saturday, Heartland Hope Mission staff and Hy-Vee store employees handed out Hormel hams to more than 700 families. The Christmas in South O event also provided toys to more than 1,400 children. Parents shopped for toys while their children played in a bounce house, had their faces painted and took Christmas photos. Saturday’s event was held at Heartland Hope Mission’s pantry building at 2021 U Street.

Organizers tell WOWT 6 News that the Christmas season is often a very difficult time for families in need. Heartland Hope Mission has seen a substantial increase in families needing holiday assistance. They said they are already 200 requests over capacity of its Christmas toy distribution program.

Hy-Vee, Inc. and Hormel Foods Corp. stepped up by providing more than 4,000 hams to help Heartland Hope Mission with its holiday effort. Executive Director of Heartland Hope Mission Chelsea Salifou said the donations are a huge help.

"We wouldn't have been able to purchase these hams for so many families in need without the assistance of Hy-Vee and Hormel Foods," said Salifou.

Heartland Hope Mission provides groceries, hygiene items, and clothing to the working poor. In addition, the food pantry offers financial classes, community referrals and application assistance for other programs. They said all food is distributed locally.