Yukon’s emergency food bank looks to fill void

With no Letter Carriers food drive (again), Manna Pantry hosts ‘drive-thru’ effort this Saturday

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Yukon Manna Pantry board member Ramona Ritchie (left) and Vicki McKee are asking for the public’s help to feed the hungry after the Letter Carriers Food Drive was canceled again due to COVID-19. A “drive-thru” food drive will be Saturday, June 12 in the shared parking lot at Sixth and Elm. (Photo by Conrad Dudderar)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

For a second straight spring, the Letter Carriers Food Drive has been canceled due to COVID-19.

And that again leaves a huge void that Yukon’s emergency food bank must fill.

“In past years, the post office food drive brought in about 25,000 pounds of food for the community,” said Ramona Ritchie, board member of Yukon’s Manna Pantry. “Having this food drive canceled the last two years has left a huge void.”

The last Letters Carriers Food Drive, in May 2019, brought in enough food donations to stock Manna Pantry’s shelves for months.

“Two years in a row not having that is noticeable to us,” Manna Pantry board member Vicki McKee added.

To help fill that void, Manna Pantry will host a “drive-thru” food drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 12 in the shared parking lot at Sixth and Elm. The pantry is directly south at 123 S 6th.

Saturday’s drop-off food drive will be rain or shine.

“People don’t even have to get out of their vehicles,” McKee explained. “Volunteers will come out to pick up their non-perishable food donations.

“We’re doing this so we can feed more people and give them better choices.”

Ritchie added, “The more food that’s donated, the less money out of our pocket to order food from the Regional Food Bank.”

On Sunday, June 13, Yukon-area churches are being encouraged to have their members bring food donations for Manna Pantry as part of this effort.

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WHAT TO GIVE?

“We can use a little bit of everything,” McKee said, matter-of-factly.

Manna Pantry especially needs these items: Canned goods, canned meat, bottled water, condiments, cereal, pasta, spaghetti sauce, pancake mix, and syrup.

“Whatever type of food you have in your pantry to feed your family, bring to us,” McKee added.

“We want to give people healthy options.”

Bread and sweets are not needed, however.

Manna Pantry will relocate later this year from its longtime downtown home just east of Yukon’s First Christian Church.

The pantry will occupy a 2,000 square foot space in the Together We Center at Trinity Baptist Church, 620 N Cemetery Road.

“We’re looking forward to moving to a larger, clean location,” Ritchie said. “We will be able to feed a lot more people.”

The Together We ministry, which will include a free medical clinic and clothing closet, will serve people across Canadian County.

There will still be two non-profits in downtown Yukon providing food – Yukon Sharing and Jacob’s Cupboard on Main Street.

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