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North Kansas City YMCA & Tohi Wellness Beverages Celebrate Food Pantry Re-Opening

YMCA of Greater Kansas City
Marzo 12, 2021
Shari Coulter Ford, Tohi Beverages, and Tina Weaver, North Kansas City YMCA Executive Director, hold cans of Tohi Beverages at the Marketplace Food Pantry at North Kansas City YMCA

The Marketplace Outreach Pantry at the North Kansas City YMCA has reopened. To celebrate and help fight growing food insecurity in our community, local brand Tohi Ventures donated 10,000 cans of Tohi Wellness Beverages ($30,000 retail value) to assist with re-stocking the pantry’s shelves and to support the Y's mobile food pantries. 

The food pantry closed during the stay-at-home order that began in March 2020 and had remained closed since then because of capacity limits in the facility and other safety precautions. During that time, the center adjusted to offer a drive-through food pantry. 
The food pantry hours will be 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., Monday-Friday. Appointments will be required to limit the number of guests at a time to allow for physical distancing. As part of a new partnership with the Y, volunteers with Easterseals will staff the food pantry. For more information and to set up an appointment, contact the North Kansas City YMCA at 816.300.0531. The North Kansas City YMCA is located at 1999 Iron Street, North Kansas City, MO, 64116.

Hunger Prevention

The pantry opened in 2019 to address food insecurity to provide healthy foods to anyone in the community in need of food. It’s located inside the main entrance of the Y.

Prior to the pandemic, one in eight people in the greater Kansas City region faced food insecurity, unsure of where their next meal would come from or whether they would have enough food for their household. One in five children didn’t know where their next meal was coming from.

More people are now at risk of food insecurity as a result of the challenges of COVID-19, including loss of income and lack of access to school meal programs when schools are in virtual learning. It is estimated that one in seven people in the greater Kansas City region, and one in four children, are now at risk of hunger.

Healthy Options

The pantry offers fresh fruits and vegetables, plus other items that will vary from time to time such as grains, whole wheat pastas, beans, healthy drinks (including almond milk and 100% juices), healthy snacks (such as granola, energy bars and nuts), and healthy condiments (such as olive oil mayonnaise).

The beverages donated by Tohi are have ingredients to boost the immune system. Tohi, a Kansas City-based healthy lifestyle brand, has a line of four Aronia Berry-based functional beverages. Aronia boasts a high micronutrient profile and total antioxidant measures that are four times that of blueberries and twice that of acai. Antioxidants are widely studied and are believed to improve heart, bone, immune and brain health by inhibiting the oxidation of free radicals in the body that can lead to inflammation and chronic disease.