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The Carthage Press
  • Routine at Crisis Center helps countless area families

  • It's becoming something of a routine at the Carthage Crisis Center, but it's a good routine.
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  • It's becoming something of a routine at the Carthage Crisis Center, but it's a good routine.
    Frequently throughout the year, a company calls Crisis Center Executive Director Brian Bisbee to tell him something has happened to a load of food.
    On Tuesday, a truck load of frozen food and fruit juice shifted inside a truck, damaging some of the boxes and making the pallets unsafe to ship.
    “The truck had an accident and the load shifted somehow,” Bisbee said. “The company said it would not be worth reloading it, but we're happy with however it comes. It's all intact and I haven't seen any damaged product.”
    That's when Bisbee and his team of volunteers, some of them residents at the Crisis Center, swing into action.
    Bisbee has developed a network of churches and other groups with food pantries across Southwest Missouri and even into Southeast Kansas.
    He emails or calls these groups and they are ready to bring trucks, trailers, vans and anything else that can carry the food.
    Steve Gannaway, with the Carterville Christian Church, said his church runs a food ministry called Feed the Heart, and the Crisis Center has become a big source of food for the people they help.
    “It's tremendous what they do,” Gannaway said. “It's people helping people and the food is definitely needed in today's society. We open up every first and third Thursday of the month and now we serve 125 families each time we open.”
    Gannaway said his church's food sources changed and tightened up after the Joplin tornado of May 2011, so the Crisis Center has become an even more important source.
    Bisbee said because of food donations, the Crisis Center itself spend less than $75 a year on food, leaving more money to help residents.
    The Center also held nine food distributions last month, and has distributed more than 250,000 pounds of food so far this year.
    “We work with 60 different organizations from here in Carthage, to Joplin, to down in Rocky Comfort to out in Southeast Kansas, to over in Nixa,” Bisbee said. “These churches have food pantries and distribute to the needy and we're glad to help them.”

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