Open Door has been serving the local community in a variety of ways since the 1970s. "We try to do the benevolent work of the churches in the area," said Jack Menges. "We run a food pantry, we have a thrift store where we give clothing vouchers, we help people with prescriptions, gas to out-of-town doctor's appointments, utility assistance, all of those types of things. I tell people 'if you've got a need and don't know where to go, come and see us. If we can't help you, we'll connect you with someone.'"

The summer food program is one of Open Door's main community services during this time of year, according to Menges. "This is a program that is through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and it is administered through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the one we have here in Sedalia is actually the largest program in the state of Missouri. We do about 70,000 meals and snacks through the summer."

Through the summer food program, kids 18 and under are invited to get a free meal. "This is based on free and reduced lunches in the school," said Mengers. "Any school building that has 50% or more free and reduced lunches, we can serve in that school area. Every school in Pettis County is 50% or more, so we can serve the entire county. We also do a few of them in Cole Camp, Lincoln, Tipton, Syracuse, some of the others, but the majority it is in Pettis County."

Meals are prepared for the summer food program at the FEMA Building, and then are sealed and delivered to the various summer food program serving sites. Menges says that meals are served within one hour of their preparation.

To get a list of area summer food program serving sites and times, call Open Door at 827-1613.