The name on the door will change. The organizational structure will change. The mission of the food bank will not change.
Pratt Christian Food Bank has changed to the Pratt County FoodBank, Inc., and it will become a non-profit 501c3 corporation.
"This will allow us to apply for grants that we couldn't do otherwise," Diana Harris, chairman of the board of directors, said. "We have missed some opportunities."
The change is made with the approval of the Pratt County Ministerial Alliance, under which the food bank was established. The Alliance had non-profit status in the past, but because of ministers leaving and paperwork not being submitted, the status lapsed.
The bank has always done its own fund-raising and food drives and has been financially independent from the Ministerial Alliance, Harris said.
"Nothing will change," she assured.
The food bank will operate under the same guidelines: Clients need to prove they are residents of Pratt County, fill out an application and show identification. They can receive five boxes of food in a year, but only once in a month.
The organization will continue as an all-volunteer program. About 50 volunteers work each month. Church youth groups and 4-H clubs can be called in for special projects and several school groups hold regular food drives.
It will continue to rely on generous donations of money and food from the community. During the first six months of 2013, the food bank has helped 392 families and has received 940 pounds of food from individuals and from food drives. They're giving out an average of 84 boxes a month, about the same as last year, Harris said.
The Ministerial Alliance and community members are working to establish a Hope Center to help people with a variety of issues, with many services provided under one roof. The Pratt County FoodBank will be a resource to be called if a person needs food, but they will remain at 111 W. Fourth, and continue to be financially independent.
The food bank is open from 7 to 8 p.m. on Monday and Thursday, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday and 10 a.m. to noon on Friday.