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2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave.
P.O. Box 5746
Springfield, MO 65801-5746


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Agency Spotlight

“Four Musketeers” lead St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Pantry

Imagine for a moment you’re a single mother of three.  Your part time, minimum wage job at the local convenience store barely provides you with enough money to simply pay the rent.  So, every day, you must decide whether to pay the bills or feed your children.

No one should be faced with such a decision.  Yet, this is an experience all too common to southwest Missouri families.  Luckily, there’s help out there for these families.  For years, groups of hardworking, caring people have come together to stock the shelves and open the doors of local food pantries.  However, one such band of brothers, so to say, has been giving their time for more than a quarter century.

Located in Billings, Missouri, the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Pantry is a place where the needy families of Billings and Clever, Missouri can go to get the help they need.  The pantry first opened its doors in 1983 and became a member of the Ozarks Food Harvest network in 1986.

Nowadays, the Church Pantry serves more than 100 families a month, giving away more than 135,000 pounds of food last year alone.  It operates out of a custom-built garage featuring a walk in freezer and fridge.

This setup is a big difference from the first few months of operation, when the pantry featured three five-foot shelves, and a refrigerator in the church’s basement.

But, what makes this location truly unique is its leadership.  The “Four Musketeers”, as they’re known around Ozarks Food Harvest, come in once a week to The Food Bank to pickup what they need. Then Bill Verfurth, Don Baker, Dale Ball and Art Steibaugh make their rounds, chatting up everyone they can find.

And, it’s this fact that has undoubtedly led to the Musketeer’s success.  The group’s friendly nature translates to trust throughout their church.  So much so that the congregation of 300 families provides the group with all the financial backing they need.  And, it’s that trust that keeps the group going year after year.  The men share a bond, both with each other and with the people they serve.

A bond that serves their community well, allowing those facing tough challenges and decisions to find some easy answers.

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