The Webster County Pantry Board of Directors is in the planning stages of its new thrift store building and is asking for donations for it, as well as other improvements they have in mind.

Board president Sean Jester said they are planning to have a metal building constructed, much like the pantry building. It will be built behind the current thrift store location, which will be torn down.

The old building was the original location for both the pantry and thrift store for many years. It is uninsulated, in disrepair, and has fought mildew during the spring and summer. In the winter, it cannot be open for business if temperatures drop below 40 degrees.

Pantry director Gerald Nehl said some on the board proposed that they do away with the thrift store, but it is in their bylaws to "provide food, clothing, and furniture" to those in need.

In addition to the new thrift store, they also hope to eventually pave the gravel parking lot, purchase a new trailer to haul food and buy a forklift to move multiple pallets. Jester said they hope to make it a place where people would be proud to visit and donate.

Nehl and Jester agreed that they have been very thrifty with the funds they have collected thus far. There are no paid employees at the Webster County Pantry and Thrift Store — not even Nehl, who refused an offer of pay. Nehl uses his own trailer to haul food, and they use a pallet jack to organize the pantry.

Those wishing to donate toward the new thrift store, which will be opened sometime next year, should send it to "Facility Improvements" at PO Box 684, Marshfield MO 65706.

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