The Beacon, a local helping agency, is continuing to serve the community. And although they are currently serving the same number of people, the current medical/financial crisis in America and the world will likely increase the need for free food and financial assistance.
Donations of food and money are welcome at this time, Director Gary Murrell said. Financial donations can be sent to The Beacon, 525 E. Sixth, Fort Scott, 66701. For more information call 620-223-6869.
Paying of Bills Urged
Murrell urges people to continue paying their utility and rent bills, even though the bills may have been deferred because of the crisis.
“If you stop paying your bills, they will be so large at the end of this there is little we can do,” Murrell said.
Changes In Food Items
Murrell said that there have been questions about food received from The Beacon recently.
“If you get food from us, you may not get what we have given in the past. It’s because we don’t have it,” Murrell said. “We don’t have bread and eggs. We are doing the best we can with purchasing.”
New Procedures In Place
As of March 16, The Beacon put a new procedure in place for obtaining food, if one is eligible.
To minimize spread of the virus, the public is not allowed in the building at 525 E. Sixth, until further notice.
Also when picking up items, individuals must call ahead to arrange it.
Eligible individuals are to call the Beacon with their name and when they would like to pick up their food order. The order will then be filled between normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday and will picked up off the back deck of the building.
History of The Beacon
The Beacon organization was established in 1985 to serve Bourbon County residents in need.
It is funded by donations from churches, civic organizations, schools, businesses and individuals.
Also, each year the Beacon applies for various grants to help with food and monetary assistance.
They serve approximately 960 individuals a month and if a person is on food stamps, they are automatically eligible, according to Murrell.
In addition to food packages, The Beacon provides non-food items like blankets, toiletries, laundry powder, and diapers.
To receive assistance, individuals must be willing to share information about their current income levels and proof of Bourbon County residency. Families in crisis are considered on a case-by-case basis.