Food cupboard van hits streets

New Manna Pantry cargo unit used for pickups, deliveries

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Manna Pantry board members stand beside the emergency food cupboard’s new Ford Transit cargo van: From left, Vicki McKee, Director Sherri Rogers, State Rep. Jay Steagall (R-Yukon), and Karen Yates. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

Yukon’s volunteer-led food cupboard has acquired a cargo van to better serve the hungry.

The Manna Pantry – celebrating its 45th year in Yukon – recently purchased a Ford Transit 250 van from an individual. The non-profit ministry, 123 S Sixth, is a temporary, emergency food pantry serving Yukon and Piedmont.

“We’re going to use the van to do our retail pickups and any deliveries we have for our disabled and 65-plus population,” Manna Pantry Director Sherri Rogers said.

“Having this van will help our volunteers. We do 28 (food) pick-ups a week and have about 10 people who have been taking their own cars to go pick up from our retailers.”

The plan is to have one volunteer van driver daily to collect all retail donations for that day. Other volunteers will stock the shelves and refrigerators inside the pantry.

Rogers explained why the van also will be used to make food deliveries to local seniors and residents with disabilities.

“During the pandemic, they were compromised clientele,” she said.

“It may be something that we continue afterwards.”

Manna Pantry’s volunteers and board members are excited to see the new van rolling.

Lettering and graphics were placed on the vehicle’s sides by Brian Obar.

“We are looking for anyone who wants to volunteer to drive,” Rogers said. “It will probably take only a couple hours in the morning.”

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NEED ON THE RISE

Manna Pantry has seen the need for its emergency food distribution service increasing since last week. The local food cupboard remained open to serve hungry people during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re getting hit pretty hard,” Rogers said, matter-of-factly.

“We’re picking back up, which is good. We want people to know that we’re here and that anybody can come if they need food.”

Manna Pantry typically serves more than 900 people each month, and the helping agency relies on some 1,000 volunteer hours monthly.

People can come to the Manna Pantry seven times each week to receive food. Hours of operation are:

Sunday from 6-7 p.m., Monday from 6-7 p.m., Tuesday from 2-3 p.m., Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. and 6-7 p.m., Thursday from 6-7 p.m., and Friday from 6-7 p.m.

Manna Pantry is led by a 10-member board of directors: Sherri Rogers, director; Patty Clouse, secretary; Karen Yates, treasurer, Kent Mathers, Dustin Rogers, Scott Kinney, Tom Arnould, Vicki McKee, Ramona Ritchie, and Jay Steagall.

To donate food, offer to volunteer or request delivery, call the Manna Pantry office at 265-0193. Learn more at http://www.mannapantryyukon.org