News Release

Food Donations for Local Charities Received by Missouri Governor

More than 100,000 pounds of food donated through Latter-day Saint Charities

“We thank The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its generous donations to the Kansas City region that will benefit thousands of families in the surrounding communities,” said Missouri governor Michael Parson.

Those remarks were given on January 24, when two truckloads of food and commodities from the Church of Jesus Christ in Salt Lake City arrived in Kansas City, bringing much needed food and other supplies for two Kansas City charities.

“We are also proud of the strong relationship that has developed between the State of Missouri and the Church. We know that when Missourians are in need or tragedy strikes, our communities can count on members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to extend a helping hand,” Parson said.

Governor Parson joined Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, the Church’s North America Central Area President, in welcoming the donations.

“It is an honor to be with Missouri Governor Michael Parson in this worthwhile cause. He has a passion to make things better for the people he leads, and we join with him to help those in need by donating this food. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we strive to follow the Saviors’ perfect example to serve and lift others,” said Elder Nielsen.

The friendship between Governor Parson and Elder Nielsen goes back three years when the governor invited Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach and Latter-day Saint, Andy Reid, to dinner at the Governor’s Mansion. In attendance with Reid and his wife were Elder Nielson and his wife.

On November 30, 2021, Governor Parson attended the launch of the Church-sponsored Giving Machines at Kansas City’s Crown Center. (The #LightTheWorld Giving Machines initiative provides a way for people to support various worldwide charities through a vending-machine style donation.) During the occasion, Parson said that as the state’s 57th governor, he would donate $57 to the giving machines and challenged others to do the same.

The average donation for the next two weeks was around $57.

The governor also learned more about how the Church of Jesus Christ gives back to families daily as he visited the bishops’ storehouse in Kansas City. During the visit, the Church committed to donate three truckloads of food to local food banks.

Latter-day Saint Charities made good on that commitment with deliveries of more than 100,000 pounds of food and supplies in the last month.

The first delivery, with 39,000 pounds of food, arrived in mid-December for the Community Services League in Independence, Missouri.

Then on January 24, more than 80,000 pounds of food and essentials arrived in Kansas City. The donations were provided to Harvesters Community Food Network and Redemptorist Social Services Center, whose programs offer a lifeline to the poor and elderly in the metropolitan Kansas City area.

Valerie Nicholson-Watson, president and CEO of Harvesters Community Food Network, said, “This food donation is prime product at a time when the need is still high. Who could ask for more?”

“The food on the truck is precious cargo,” said Redemptorist Social Services Center executive director Julie McCaw. “Nearly two years ago, our food pantry faced significant challenges and change, COVID arrived. The center added hours and stayed open until every person in line was helped, every single day.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.