From the Beginning to Now
ECHO was started in 2010 by a group of UCM students who were in a combined class of Entrepreneurship (Dr. Mary McCord) and Social Work (Dr. Marlys Peck). This group of students were tasked with starting, maintaining, and evaluating outcomes for a program that would meet a need within our community. All this in one semester.
When in the beginning stages of planning they discovered that the greatest impact that they could have would be to provide weekend supplemental foods for area preschool children. After a successful semester, the students were ready to move on, but felt strongly about the impact that ECHO was having in our community. While, at the time, they were serving 50 students a week, they knew that one in five children in Johnson County are food insecure. They presented ECHO to the First Presbyterian Church of Warrensburg and FPC accepted responsibility of the program as a mission with Dr. McCord as the Director.
In December of 2012, Jamie Grohe started as the Volunteer Coordinator, utilizing volunteers from UCM, Warrensburg School District IV, Whiteman AFB and area businesses and organizations. A year later, Dr. McCord resigned, and Jamie Grohe took over as the Director for the agency.
Since then ECHO has established a Board of Directors, become a nonprofit 501c3 organization and Harvesters agency, designed a new logo and website, and expanded our reach by serving 120 students weekly through 8 area daycare agencies.
We have supporters throughout our community, packing and distributing food, and conducting food drives and fundraisers. Our biggest supporters are Hank and Marilyn Hamann, who in honor of their son Todd Hamann, hold an annual Golf Tournament giving ECHO a portion of the proceeds.
ECHO’s tagline reminds us daily of our mission, “…because hunger doesn’t take the weekend off!”