Produced for an Introduction to Digital Journalism class by Tiffany Lor and I, the video showcases the two living mascots for the University of Central Missouri.
It is estimated that nearly 49 million people go hungry every day, including 16 million children. However, one group of people you’d least expect is trying to solve that problem.
Nearly 10,000 post offices – including the Boonville one – have been working together to eliminate hunger through a program which they have titled “Stamp Out Hunger.” For 25 years, the program has raised over 1.5 billion pounds of food, which has tremendously helped the hunger situation in our area.
Robert “Bob” Horst, despite being retired for five years after serving as a letter carrier for 37 years, still volunteers is time towards the program.
“I think it’s very good (that the post office is doing the program.) It has been going for a long time and is very helpful to our two food pantries,” Horst said.
The program could not have been successful without the help of volunteers, which is mostly comprised of retired letter carriers. Volunteers assisted letter carriers in collecting and transporting the food, as well as weighing the food.
After being weighed, the food went directly to the two food pantries in Boonville; Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and the As the River Flows pantry. Linda Perry, leader of the As the River Flows pantry on Rural Street, feels the program greatly impacts the community.
“It’s a necessity because we’ve had the factories shut down and the way the economy is going. All of the prices of groceries are rising, but people are making less,” Perry said.
This year, the Boonville program raised 2,957 pounds of food. In 2016, the Boonville program raised 3,975 pounds of food and over $1,100 in monetary donations.
“I felt the program went well. I’m never disappointed at the way our community helps. Everything that we collect goes back into the community to those in need,” added Perry.
Perry would like to say thanks to the letter carriers and residents of Boonville and Cooper County.
“Without the help of the post office, residents of Cooper County and especially Bob Horst, this would not have been possible,” stated Perry.
If you’d like to donate to either one of the local food pantries, you can call the Neighbors Helping Neighbors at 660-537-2183, or Linda Perry at 660-537-4511.
Story written for Boonville Daily News in May 2017. Photos copyright 2017-18 Garrett Fuller, used by the Boonville Daily News under permission.
Back in May, Steve Wescott walked across the nation with his goat, Leeroy Brown, to raise money for an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Wescott traveled through Boonville on his trip from Seattle to New York, resting at the Phoenix Restaurant to rest and regain his energy. He traveled through territories with large spiders, nasty thunderstorms and risking heat exhaustion.
Wescott started the project after he finished touring with a Christian band. After his best friend visited the orphanage in Nairobi, Wescott decided that the best thing to do was help the children. Wescott’s original goal was to talk to 10,000 people and raise over $200,000 to buy a farm so that the orphanage, which houses 40 children, could generate money.
His original goal changed when they were told they only had until March 1, 2015 to move the orphanage to a new location as the Kenyan government wants to take over the land they are currently occupying. Wescott, however, has been blessed with good news when he found land for $75,000, but needs an additional $30,000 to complete construction. Wescott also anticipates on buying additional land for farming.
The duo has been stuck in St. Louis since June, after a dog attacked Leeroy, a seven-year old goat.
“It is a complete roller-coaster of emotions. When we get ahead, we have 10 more obstacles. For example, when the production deal was presented, Leeroy got attacked by a dog and the Kenyan government forced us to move to a different location,” Wescott said.
Although Wescott has experienced many obstacles and setbacks, including being stuck in St. Louis for nearly seven months, Wescott has not lost hope yet. He is already planning to do a nationwide speaking tour, where he will discuss the progress of the project.
This story originally ran in the Boonville Daily News on December 23, 2014. I was a sophomore in high school at the time of publication. Minor edits have been made in this edition.