There’s a birthday party to benefit the community this Saturday in Grain Valley.

Mary Strack, case manager for the Grain Valley Assistance Council, is turning 80.

“In lieu of gifts, bring a canned good, because that’s all I’m about,” she says.

The open house in her honor is from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Community Center, 713 S. Main St.

The Assistance Council was formed 20 years ago. In addition to having a food pantry, it has a clothes closet for youths and adults, it offers assistance for utilities and similar expenses, and it delivers meals to the homes of the elderly and homebound. Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets are delivered each year, and there is a Santa store with Christmas gifts.

Those served include low-income individuals and families, those who are homebound, at-risk youth, the homeless, families in transition from welfare to work, and low-income, single-parent families or families headed by a grandparent or other relative.

The Assistance Council is at 207 W. Walnut, and hours are 9 to noon and 1 to 4 on Wednesdays. As donations, it accepts non-refrigerated food as well as diapers, formula and clothing. Donations of money and time also are welcome.