South KC Perspective
By John Sharp
Two organizations and a separate program that all have a positive impact on south Kansas City have an immediate need for volunteers.
After the Harvest needs volunteers to pick fruit and vegetables donated by area farmers and to glean fields, gardens and orchards for leftover produce after harvesting. Picking and gleaning is usually done in the mornings, and most locations are within a short drive from Kansas City.
The nonprofit agency donates all collected produce to agencies serving hungry and food insecure people in the Kansas City area. It is one of the largest donors of fresh produce to Harvesters, the Kansas City regional food bank that provides food to over 620 nonprofit agencies in a 26-county area.
Persons or organizations interested in helping may sign up online at aftertheharvestkc.org or call Mariah Friend, volunteer coordinator, at 816-921-1903 ext. 107.
The Community Assistance Council, 10901 Blue Ridge Blvd., needs office volunteers to greet and serve clients; food pantry volunteers to sort, shelve and bag food for clients; and garden volunteers to weed and harvest produce for clients. The primary times help is needed are from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
This nonprofit human services agency, where I serve as board president, serves clients throughout south Kansas City. It operates a food pantry and clothes closet, supplies diapers, and provides financial assistance for prescriptions, rent and utility costs as well as case management services.
Persons interested in helping should call Executive Director Rachel Casey at 816-763-3277 ext. 103 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Love Thy Neighbor needs faith and community groups, unions and construction companies to volunteer to make minor repairs and landscaping improvements at homes owned and occupied by senior citizens and persons with disabilities who have received citations for property maintenance violations but who are unable physically or financially to make the improvements.
The program was initiated by KCMO Councilwoman Alissia Canady. Although not funded by the city, the Neighborhoods & Housing Services Department provides organizational assistance. Homes in the Marlborough and Ruskin areas have been repaired through the program, and Shawn Kirkwood, department diversion coordinator, said there are several other owner-occupied homes that need such repairs.
Interested organizations may contact Kirkwood at 816-513-9054 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.