The Missouri National Guard's "Partners in Care" initiative, and Second Harvest's Community Food Bank of St. Joseph, have announced a new partnership in an effort to assist citizen-soldiers and airmen with another layer of support. The State Chaplain's office uses Partners in Care to coordinate support for guardsmen and their families by teaming up with local faith-based entities.
This is a network of networks that identifies resources that churches currently offer and refers troops to those services. Second Harvest provides food assistance to partner agencies in 15 counties across northwest Missouri (including Caldwell, Daviess, Grundy, Harrison, Livingston, and Mercer) and four counties in northeast Kansas.
Colonel Gary Gilmore, Joint Force Chaplain with the Missouri National Guard, recognizes that an untapped area of strength and support are local churches. Though not a church, Second Harvest is affiliated with many churches via their partner agencies in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas, allowing them to take the lead in being a different kind of team member.
The partnership with the Guard came after Second Harvest announced earlier this month a new military-friendly policy that allows all current or previous service members and their families to forego the qualification process normally required to received food assistance.
Second Harvest's new policy states that in order to receive that assistance, service members need only provide a current military ID or VA card. In lieu of these items, a DD-214 will be accepted. No other proof of information is needed.
Gilmore said he hopes pride will not be an issue for the troops and they will do what is necessary if they need help.