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Here's where Kansas Citians can donate — and receive — food and gifts this holiday season

Hope Distribution Center volunteer Bridget Overman, right, helps Shonda Gooley shop for her Thanksgiving meal in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2021.
Carlos Moreno
/
KCUR 89.3
Hope Distribution Center volunteer Bridget Overman, right, helps Shonda Gooley shop for her Thanksgiving meal in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2021.

The holiday season already has enough stress, and inflation is only adding more. We put together a list of resources if you find yourself in need of assistance, or if you're in a position to help out.

Holidays still feel different this year. For starters, things cost more than they have in decades, and business downsizing and layoffs mean that more people are facing financial difficulties.

We're also still in a global pandemic, and many have health concerns as they gather with family and friends.

Nonprofits are feeling the pinch, too. Harvesters Community Food Network has seen a 42% drop in government-provided food it’s able to distribute to member agencies. Experts are warning that many agencies should anticipate a “decline in giving in 2022” due to inflation.

So if you should you find yourself in a position to make financial, food or in-kind donations this holiday season, or if you or someone you love is in need of help, we put together this list of options for the Kansas City area.

Ways you can give

Harvesters Community Food Network: Harvesters serves more than 25 counties in Kansas and Missouri. You can drop non perishable food items at Harvesters barrels at grocery stores, businesses, or community food drives. Cash donations are also welcome.

Children’s Mercy Toy Drive: A virtual drive seeking either toy or cash donations to support children in the hospital and their families over the holidays.

KVC’s Holiday Heroes Program: Collecting presents, gift cards and financial donations for kids in foster care, who have been recently reunited with families or been adopted. You can also choose to adopt an entire family. 

Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries Christmas Store: Providing winter coats, clothing and new gifts to family members. Households can also receive small kitchen appliances, blankets or gift cards. Gifts can be dropped off at 3031 Holmes Street in Kansas City, or you can arrange to make alternative drop off plans by calling 816-931-0027.

Rose Brooks Holiday Store: Designed to give families leaving domestic violence shelters what they need to start their new lives. Between December 3–13 at Ward Parkway Center, drop off household items, clothes, kitchen utensils and more. Gift cards to Target, Wal-Mart or gas cards are some of the most–requested items.

Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City Hanukkah Project: JFS serves thousands of people from diverse denominations, ages and cultural backgrounds. You can adopt  a family or individual among the 300 who have completed Hanukkah “wish-lists” and deliver unwrapped items during designated drop-off times.

reStart Winter Opportunities: reStart provides housing for those experiencing homelessness for anywhere between 30 days and 18 months. The program includes recovery skills along with community and social integration. Sponsor an individual or family in the Emergency Family Shelter with gifts or other winter needs. Drop off unwrapped gifts at 918 E. 9th Street in Kansas City.

Where to find services

Independence Community Services League: Free Christmas store for Jackson, Jefferson County and Kansas City families. Food baskets and Christmas trees, food pantries and counseling for how to access utility and rental assistance. Located at 404 North Noland Road in Independence.

Toys for Tots: Provides free, unwrapped gifts for children from low-income families. The program was started by the U.S. Marine Corps and partners with local churches, non-profits, businesses and agencies to distribute toys. Check the Toys for Tots website for toy distribution sites in your area.

Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas: A food pantry and clothing closet located at 9806 W. 87th Street in Overland Park. Food pantry hours are Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Clothing closet hours are Tuesday 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and Thursday 12-4 p.m.

City Union Mission: Men, women and children with low incomes, experiencing homelessness or at risk of being homeless will be able to shop at a “Christmas Store” through December 22. Gift items include small household appliances, gifts for teen and young children, clothes and food. Located at 1100 E. 11th Street in Kansas City.

Raytown REAP:  Holiday assistance for income-qualified people in the Raytown School district area, located at 9300 E. 75th Street.

Lee’s Summit Social Services: Christmas store with toys, books and games at low cost, located at 198 SE 4th Street. Coats and Christmas food baskets for current clients of Lee’s Summit Social Services.

LUMA:  Weekly Food Pantry offering food and household supplies each Thursday between 9:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Partnership with Happy Bottoms diaper bank to provide diapers and pull ups, Thursdays 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Located at 4205 Tracy in Kansas City.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions. Email me at lauraz@kcur.org and follow me on Twitter @laurazig.
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