Blizzard can’t deter Yukon food bank

Manna Pantry volunteers serve hungry on eve of storm

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Volunteer Darrell Hall prepares to bring food out to hungry clients at the Manna Pantry, 123 S Sixth. Yukon’s emergency food bank has not had regular hours since Feb. 7 due to the wintry weather but remains available for people who need help. (Photo provided)
Manna Pantry volunteer Darla Krittenbrink fills up a food box with meat from the pantry’s commercial freezers. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Yukon’s emergency food bank is typically open seven times each week to feed the hungry.

But the Manna Pantry, 123 S Sixth, hasn’t been able to open regularly since Feb. 7 to serve this area’s food insecure due to arctic-like weather.

Undeterred, Manna Pantry volunteers braved the cold on Saturday, Feb. 13 to come out and offer foodstuffs on the eve of last weekend’s epic blizzard.

“With the weather coming in, we decided to open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” Manna Pantry Director Sherri Rogers reported. “Nineteen families came.”

Two volunteers from Yukon’s Grace Church place fruits and vegetables in grocery bags for Manna Pantry recipients. The pantry hopes to resume regular hours later this week. (Photo provided)

The Manna Pantry ended up providing food to 62 people who appreciated the gift of sustenance.

The nourishment will help these recipients get through a challenging time as many residents continue to face job loss and economic uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We weren’t able to open at all last week,” Rogers shared. “I had people calling me last Thursday asking if we were going to be open that night.

“I thought we could ‘slide something in’ between the storms so we opened up Saturday. It worked out.”

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SHOULD BE OPEN SOON

Volunteers organize food bags and boxes for Yukon’s hungry on Feb. 13 before the latest winter storm hit. (Photo provided)

The Manna Pantry is a temporary, emergency food pantry serving people in the Yukon and Piedmont communities.

“We plan to be back open at least by the end of this week,” Rogers said. “Even with this bad weather, we want people to know the Manna Pantry remains available to serve our community.

“We have plenty of food to feed those who need it.”

Manna Pantry staff had hoped to reopen for regular hours this Wednesday, but that plan was thwarted when more snowfall was forecasted.

Volunteer Aaron Jones pushes a cart of food out the front door of the Manna Pantry, 123 S Sixth. The pantry was open for five hours on the eve of last weekend’s blizzard to serve clients. (Photo provided)

“I’m not going to ask my volunteers to get out in this,” Rogers said Monday morning. “I’ve also told our retailers we wouldn’t be picking up today or tomorrow.”

The Manna Pantry’s normal 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.

Food and monetary donations are always welcome, and volunteers are needed. Recipients should bring proof of residence and a photo ID to receive help.

For more information, call the Manna Pantry at (405) 265-0193.