Gallatin Community Service Center opened its doors in 1997 as a food pantry. Since its establishment, the center has expanded and is now the primary food bank for Daviess County in Missouri.

Connected to the Gallatin Church, the center’s food bank serves 200 individuals in Daviess County, which, as of 2019, has a population of 8,278, according to Of that population, about 17.6 percent are in poverty, according to

Gallatin City Administrator Lance Rains said the food bank benefits the community greatly.

“It is a vital facility in the City of Gallatin,” Rains said. “They provide a wonderful service for those in need.”

The food bank distributes 3,300 pounds of food each month to eligible county residents. The bank receives most of its food from Second Harvest Heartland, “one of the nation’s largest, most efficient and most innovative hunger relief organizations,” according to their website.

In 2020 the food bank received a grant from the North American Division to help fund replacement of the food bank’s walk-in refrigerator and freezer. With funds from the NAD, the Iowa-Missouri Conference and Second Harvest Heartland, the center was able to afford the $29,000 units, according to Karen Reed, Gallatin Community Service Center director.

Reed said the operation costs for the food bank are $2,000 a month. To help cover the utility costs and other expenses, the center runs a thrift store.

“The thrift shop through the years has paid for this whole place except what we got grants for,” Reed said.

The thrift store is housed in two buildings, the building joined to the church and Bill’s Barn, a standalone building built in 2013 and named after Reed’s late husband. Patrons of the store can find an assortment of goods, including collectables, clothing, home décor, books, games and bedding. All these items are donated to the center and sorted through by over 20 volunteers from various faiths.

Reed said that the volunteers create a loving, family-like atmosphere.

“These people are amazing,” said Reed. “My volunteers are sweet, lovely people.”

Reed hopes the center will continue its service to the Daviess County for many years to come thanks to its patrons, volunteers and God.

“The Lord has blessed this place over and over,” Reed said.