Cash will pay for fuel to run the pantry’s four vans for an entire year
By SHERI GASSAWAY
Arnold, MO – Laborers’ Local 110 has always been known for its generosity to the Arnold Food Pantry. But this year, the union and its members outdid themselves by donating $6,766 and nearly two tons of nonperishable food items.
The items were collected during a food drive at the union’s annual picnic held at Grant’s Farm. In addition to food items, members and their families also made cash contributions to the pantry totaling $2,133. Local 110 matched its members’ donations and added another $2,500 for a grand total of $6,766.
Local 110 Business Manager Don Willey and Business Agent Rob Reed presented the pantry with the cash donation at the not-for-profit organization’s Taste of Arnold fundraiser held Nov. 13 at the Arnold Eagle’s Club.
STEPPING UP TO HELP THE COMMUNITY
Phil Amato, president of the food pantry’s board of directors, was overwhelmed by the generosity and thanked the union and its members for stepping up to help the community.
“Not only did the Laborers donate nearly two tons of food to feed the hungry, they provided us with enough money to run our four vans for a solid year,” Amato said. “Laborers’ 110 is taking care of every gallon of gasoline for our vans in 2019.”
Willey said the relationship between the food bank and the Laborers goes back a long way. He said that during the recession when Laborers were out of work, the pantry helped feed its members in Jefferson County.
“The true hero is this guy,” Willey said of Amato. “Phil gets involved and puts his heart and soul into his work and makes things happen. This is our way to give back to the community and make it a great place to live.”
A LONG HISTORY OF HELPING
In 2012, Local labor unions, including Local 110, and their contractors helped renovate the food pantry’s building at 2024 Key West Dr. in Arnold, donating some $280,000 in cash, labor and materials.
Since then, Local 110 has provided ongoing support, including more than $26,000 in cash donations and coordinating the pantry’s asphalt paving work.
The Arnold Food Pantry is the largest non-denominational food distribution center in the St. Louis region that does not receive city, state or federal government funding. The pantry serves residents in Arnold and portions of Imperial and Fenton.
“We rely solely upon fundraisers and donations from the community and the need is great,” Amato said. “Last year we donated $2.5 million in food, and this year we’ve donated $4.2 million in food. We are blessed to have such partners like the Laborers.”
For more information on the pantry or to donate, call 636-287-3663 or visit wefeedthehungry.org.