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      Local food pantry serves community through chilly winter

      The food bank serves around 600 families a month.

      The use of food pantries has become routine for many Tri-State families.

      One local food pantry is working hard to make sure no one goes hungry, even in these bitterly cold winter months.

      Deb Horton has been coming to the Clark County Food Closet once a month for almost a year and a half.

      But she's not just visiting for herself. Horton also picks up food for those who can't get there themselves.

      "I just always like to help other people out, and I always have ," Horton said.

      She travels to Kahoka from Fort Madison, and despite the wait in the cold, she enjoys stopping in.

      "It's worth it to come down, you never know what you're getting, they always give you something different ," Horton said. " They've got pretty good food actually. Nothing that I get ever goes to waste. And if I can't use it, then I give it somebody else that might need it, too."

      The food bank has been in this location for four years and serves around 600 families a month.

      For manager Kim Allen, it's all about giving back to a place that once helped her make it through tough times.

      "I guess in my heart I just want to give ," Allen said. " I'd take my shirt off my back for somebody if they needed it."

      And because they serve in and out of state clients, the closet is open to everyone.

      People like Doris McSparen once came food, and stayed to volunteer.

      "It's an awesome thing to be able to come here and help people out to give them food, " McSparen said. "K nowing that they're going to have enough food to get them by to be able to stretch it out."

      The food closet's mission is simple ... help each other any way you can.

      "You just help people out where you can help them," Horton said. "Sometimes you don't have to have money, you just do other things."

      The food closet is sponsored by the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri out of Columbia.

      It is located west of the Clark County Fairgrounds on US-136-Business Route/East Main Street.

      Those who live out of state can stop by on the second Tuesday of the month, and those in Missouri may stop by on the fourth Thursday of the month.

      For more information on the food pantry, you can call 660-341-6090.