Barton County hospital food drive overflows in donations

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LAMAR, Mo. — A Southwest Missouri hospital set out to collect food donations for local charities, but they ended up with more food then they could have ever imagined.

A total of 608 items were distributed among churches and a food pantry within Golden City, Liberal, and Lamar.

“When Cox gives food, that’s just a little extra food that I can give to people here,” explained Chris Elswick with The Good Samaritan Shop.

Every year in October, Cox Barton County hospital’s radiology department hosts a fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last year, the team did exceedingly well with a sock drive, so they wanted to help out the community once more this year — but in a different way.

“We elected to do the food drive and we wanted to do a theme of Rosie the Riveter from the World War Era and so we did it as a “Yes you can” help donate food in your area,” said Paula Kermashek with Cox Barton County.

So the radiology department set a goal of 250 non-perishable or hygiene-related products.

“They were different items of food, detergent, personal items, toothbrushes, deodorant, anything they wanted to bring in and we raised over 608 was the total number,” Kermashek added.

The Good Samaritan Shop was just one of three Southwest Missouri organizations that received the donated items. And, Cox Barton County donated 263 pounds of food, which goes out to those who need to feed a meal to their family.

“We put it on the shelves and everything and it goes out quickly,” Elswick explained. “They had it in here on October 7th and it’s already gone. The food’s gone that they donated.”

This organization feeds more than 1,000 individuals each month, so the director says he couldn’t feed this amount of people in Lamar, without the support of the community.

“It’s just a good feeling to know that people step up and take care of one another and it’s amazing when you start seeing how many people do help around here. They don’t want their names mentioned but they do help,” said Elswick.

Fifty to sixty percent of the radiology department staff don’t live in Lamar, so the director is grateful her staff is so involved with the community they work in. With the donation, The Good Samaritan Shop did not have to purchase any extra food for the families for a few weeks.

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