For the fourth year in a row, Virgil Nunes is looking to do something about hunger in his community.
Nunes, store manager at Expert Tire in Sedalia, is spending the month of May collecting food to benefit Open Door Benevolent Ministries.
“I got involved because it was just something I wanted to do. My family has had to use Open Door before, and I know how important that is. I have been blessed in my life, and it is time to give back to people,” Nunes said.
With the first two years’ efforts bringing in about 500 pounds of food, Nunes was excited when last year’s total topped out at more than 1,000 pounds.
“Anything is a success, but last year was very good, and we are hoping to do it again this year,” he said.
As part of the monthlong food drive, which focuses on canned goods and nonperishable items, Nunes will host a barbecue and car show for donors and customers at Expert Tire, 3128 W. Broadway Boulevard, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.
Nunes said the car show and food will be available from about 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but people who drop off food during business hours have a chance at a range of door prizes, including price breaks on auto services.
“This isn’t really about the business side of things. It’s just a little something extra for our customers who donate to the drive,” Nunes said.
Coming on the heels of last weekend’s “Stamp Out Hunger” postal food drive, the additional support is welcome news to Open Door Executive Director Jack Menges.
“Each year with Virgil has gotten bigger. Last year was about 1,200 pounds. That is a good amount, but we are in need of food now worse than we have needed it in the last three years,” Menges said. “Everywhere it is tight. We have to rely more on locals at a time like this. That is why these food drives are so critical to us.”
In addition to staple items, Menges said the food pantry is looking for low-sugar and low-sodium items for clients who have health concerns and have to be more careful about what kinds of foods they eat.
“Getting healthy food to people who really need it is always a challenge, and even more right now because things are so tight nationwide,” Menges said.
Donations can be made at Expert Tire from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays through the end of the month.
For more information, call Nunes at 826-7240.