By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
With an ever-increasing need for its service among Yukon’s hungry, the Manna Pantry has set a lofty goal for its ninth annual turkey drive.
The emergency food cupboard, 123 S 6th, is asking for the public’s help to meet its goal of 450 turkeys – which would more than double last year’s pre-Thanksgiving drive.
“We’re just going to need a lot of turkeys,” said Manna Pantry Director Sherri Rogers, matter-of-factly.
Frozen birds should be brought on two specific dates to the pantry.
“People can drop off turkeys to us on Saturday, November 14 or Saturday, November 21, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.,” Rogers said. “We’re going to give them out on the 15th and the 22nd.”
As an alternative, people are encouraged to make a monetary donation which pantry volunteers will use to buy turkeys. This is often preferred since storage space is limited inside Yukon’s cramped food cupboard.
“For $15, we can buy one turkey,” Rogers noted. “We can buy them without having to pay sales tax.”
Manna Pantry, which serves people in Yukon and Piedmont, typically helps 250-300 families monthly.
And the need has increased as the Yukon area keeps growing and people struggle with job loss and economic uncertainly.
“We’ve added 50 new clients in each of the past three months,” Rogers said. “We’re busy, busy. And we’re getting busier.
“We actually started (Monday) with nothing in the refrigerators and no produce. Nothing. It’s starting to fill up again”
The recent ice storm caused Manna Pantry to lose power at its downtown Yukon location. A broken freezer presented another challenge.
So instead of letting meat spoil and other perishable items like vegetables and bread go to waste, pantry volunteers left food out in front so people could take what they needed to stave off hunger – no questions asked.
“I’d rather give it to people than throw it out,” Rogers said. “It was gone within the day. We came up every day and restocked it.”
Donations may be made online at mannapantryyukon.org, or may be mailed to: P.O. Box 851828, Yukon OK 73085.
For more information, call 265-0193.