By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
Yukon’s emergency food bank will “kick it into overdrive” to boost its building fund in search of a new space.
The Manna Pantry will have a vendor booth at the annual Faith Clinic car show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11 hosted by Trinity Baptist Church, 620 N Cemetery Road.
“We have been provided a booth free of charge,” Manna Pantry board member Vicki McKee said. “We are going to sell desserts, T-shirts, and Pie 5 gift cards. We’re hoping to raise money and a lot of donations for our building fund.
“We’re planning big. We welcome anyone who wants to bake a dessert and provide for us, and anyone who wants to make a donation.”
The May 11 car show benefits the Faith Clinic, a free medical clinic on Tuesday nights at Trinity for people without health insurance.
The car show is a family event with many vendors on the church grounds, games for youth and other fun activities, according to McKee. Manna Pantry’s booth will be inside the church.
“It’s going to benefit a lot of people, and we hope to get a good crowd out there,” she said.
SEARCH CONTINUES …
Manna Pantry’s board is seeking a 2,500-3,000 square foot building in downtown Yukon to better serve client needs. For nearly 20 years, the food pantry has operated out of a converted house on the northeast corner of Sixth and Maple.
But as demand for its services grows – with an average of 900 individuals helped each month – the food pantry has simply outgrown the current 1,000 square-foot space.
McKee and fellow Manna Pantry board member Ramona Ritchie found great success when they sold homemade desserts at a booth during the recent annual “Heart of Yukon” craft show at the First United Methodist Church.
“That went well,” McKee said. “We were able to sell around 60 desserts and raised over $1,000. People were so generous with just donations.”
Jennifer Leck-Wild, Manna Pantry’s board president, commended McKee and Richey for their work to boost the building fund.
“They’ve really put forth a huge effort in raising funds,” Leck-Wild said. “They’ve been very successful so far in trying many different fund-raising ideas – from the Chili’s fundraiser, to the craft show and now the car show.”
Ideally, Manna Pantry officials hope a property owner will donate or sell at a discount a building that will provide for the food cupboard’s current and future growth.
“We need quite a bit of money to raise enough for not only a building but to bring that building up to code and make it functional for what we do,” Leck-Wild said. “So we’re looking at least $500,000.”
Another possibility that would save Manna Pantry money is if someone donates land on which a building can be constructed.
“We’re open to all opportunities,” Leck-Wild said.
LETTER CARRIERS FOOD DRIVE
May 11 will be an especially big day for Manna Pantry.
That Saturday also is the annual Letter Carriers Food Drive, expected to bring in about 30,000 pounds of food for the local food bank.
Volunteers are needed to help collect food donations that residents leave by their mailboxes. Yukon’s mail carriers will collect much of the food but help is needed on some routes – especially in rural areas.
Workers are needed starting at 9:30 a.m.
Volunteers will help at the pantry starting about noon to unload vehicles, sort and weigh the food donations and stock the shelves.
Manna Pantry relies on donations to feed the hungry. In 2018, the pantry received 181,000 pounds of food worth more than $300,000.
Every second and fourth Thursday of the month, the Manna Pantry receives a food truck delivery from the Regional Food Bank. Each delivery averages about 3,500 pounds.
Local groceries stores also regularly provide food.
Manna Pantry’s normal hours are Sundays from 6-7 p.m., Mondays from 6-7 p.m., Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m., Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. and 6-7 p.m., and Fridays from 6-7 p.m. The pantry has clients in Yukon and Piedmont who receive regular assistance.
For more information, call the Manna Pantry office at 265-0193.