Lifeway Center receives $100,000 grant to help residents in need - thesalemnewsonline.com: Local News

Lifeway Center receives $100,000 grant to help residents in need

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Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 10:57 am

The Lifeway Center has recently been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health. The grant is spread over two years to support operations of providing quality food and medical screening to those in the Dent County region.

The center is providing food and other services to an average of more than 1,000 people a month at its location on Highway 19 North, according to center records. It's an increase from 500 three to four years ago.

This is the third year the Lifeway Center has received funds from MFH, and this grant will provide 14 percent of the annual budget of $360,000.

"The grant from MFH is a tremendous help," said Dr. William Stack, director. "To know that 14 percent of our annual budget is already met for this year and next is a real relief. This will help immensely with supplies and equipment."

Stack said they also received a similar grant from them for 2009-2010, which was a little smaller.

"With the increased costs of running an operation like this, their support is an ongoing lifeline to the poorest of Dent County," he said.

The Lifeway Center is supported by donations from individuals, businesses and churches, as well as grants, tax-credits, and yard sales, and is staffed by 25 to 30 volunteers each month.

The original group of volunteers and directors are from Salem Full Gospel Church, but a steady stream of volunteers from other churches are also an important part of the work.

"We are feeding the poorest of the community here, so we are grateful for all the help the community and churches can offer," Stack said.

The Lifeway Center also participates with the Community Works program in Salem for additional staffing assistance.

"A couple weeks ago, Lou Trombley (Victor Baptist) came and built a produce cooler. This will help tremendously with garden season coming up," Stack said.

Stack said one thing that has helped fundraising is the diligent record-keeping that goes on. This helps keep track of every item of food distributed, and to whom, as well as every dollar received, and how it is spent. As a 501(c) 3 organization, the Lifeway Center is required to file documents with the IRS and the state of Missouri in a timely manner, and financial records are open to the public for review.

While the food pantry is the authorized distributor of commodities for Dent County, there are not nearly enough to go around, Stack said.

"Back when we were serving 300 people per month (2001), there might be four to five pallets of commodities, plus whatever we could afford in addition," Stack said. "Now, with over 1,000 people a month, there are one to two pallets of regular commodities, and the rest we have to secure from other sources."

Those other sources include discounted purchases from Country Mart, Ozarks Food Harvest, and Aldi's, donations from Walmart, local food drives, and fraternity/sorority club projects at MS&T.

"Some think that all our food is donated, but it is not," Stack said. "Much of the food, even from Ozarks Food Harvest, requires payment, at a rate of 22 cents a pound." All told, Lifeway gives away over $30,000 worth of food per month, to the most vulnerable of Dent County.

"We don't help with utilities - it is possible to live without electricity, but not without food," Stack said.

Patrons of the Lifeway Center also receive prayer, Biblical counsel and a listening ear, as well as Bible-based teachings on CD, at no charge.

"These are not forced on anyone, but are available to any who desire them, and many do." Stack said. "Many times, people just need someone to talk to; especially when they just lost their job, and are coming to the food pantry for the first time in their life."

In addition, the Lifeway Center was also chosen to participate in a challenge grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, where private donations will be matched, and donors will also receive Missouri tax-credits for their donation. The status of the Lifeway Center can be verified at the Attorney General's "Check-a-Charity" website. To donate time or resources, contact Dr. William A. Stack, Director, at 573-247-1116. Stack said they are working on updating the Lifeway Center website, but for now it is borrowing a webpage from Salem Full Gospel Church, with a link to the Attorney General's site at:

http://salemfullgospel.com/ministries.php?id=13755&;

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

4 comments:

  • Bill Stack posted at 6:40 pm on Sat, Jun 25, 2011.

    3bronzestar Posts: 2

    Mr Welles is incorrect concerning MFH and Lifeway. MFH has 1.2 Billion in assets, which it manages/invests to produce 50+ million in investment returns each year, from which it provides grants to organizations like the Lifeway Center. The government doesn't have assets to manage, as they are $15 Trillion in debt, from foolish spending programs. The last 3 budgets signed by the President were for double the expected income. It's a good thing these local and regional non-profits are managed more responsibly than that, or people would starve. Even if Mr Welles was correct with his 14% number (which he is not), that leaves 86% funded by people who care enough to share their own resources, not stand back and brag about spending someone elses through confiscative tax policies...

     
  • Franklin_Welles posted at 10:36 pm on Sat, May 7, 2011.

    Franklin_Welles Posts: 5

    Mr. Stack is correct when he says that taxes aren't the answer to every problem. However, taxes are the answer to 14 percent of Lifeway's budget. MFH has received millions in federal grants and passed them along to smaller organizations for the good of all. Call it socialism because it is. Private donations would never fund all of the good done by MFH or Lifeway. Mr Stack wants to portray Lifeway as a "private philanthropic organization," and in doing so, without actually saying it, appears to deny that it receives government funding. If that is the case, he is denying reality just as many in the Tea Party accept government aid like Medicare and then protest its existence. MFH and Lifeway may not be government entities, but without government support their days would be numbered and their effectiveness curtailed. Acknowledgment of, and appreciation for, the system that funds their existence would be an excellent beginning to returning sanity to this country. The sooner that Americans accept that government, and its accompanying taxes, are necessary the sooner we will begin to heal the rifts that divide America. I wish Mr. Stack and Lifeway well as it uses MY tax money to do good works in my home town.

     
  • Bill Stack posted at 12:33 pm on Sat, May 7, 2011.

    3bronzestar Posts: 2

    Just wanted to clarify something about the Missouri Foundation for Health, and the Lifeway Center. The foundation is NOT a government entity, but rather, a private philanthropic foundation. Fortunately for us all, more taxes are not always necessary, or necessarily the best answer to every problem.

     
  • Franklin_Welles posted at 12:03 pm on Fri, May 6, 2011.

    Franklin_Welles Posts: 5

    With one in eight Missourians uninsured, a caring, thoughtful social program like MFH is desperately needed to step in and assist. The federal grants allotted to MFH are money well spent for all taxpayers in America. I would hope that the citizens of Missouri take these programs into account when they ponder the federal deficit and “out of control” spending. A better definition of out of control would be when our citizens starve. Hopefully, supporters of the Tea Party will take note of what’s really important.

     
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