By Conrad Dudderar
A Yukon community food bank since 1975, Manna Pantry is rolling out the Christmas hams this Saturday while preparing to move into some brand-new digs.
Recipients will “roll up” in their vehicles for the aptly-named “Ham Roll” set 1-4 p.m. Dec. 18 at the pantry’s future home inside the Together We Center, 620 N Cemetery Road.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for this new Canadian County outreach ministry was Dec. 12 on Trinity Baptist Church’s 30-acre campus.
Manna Pantry will soon relocate to a new 2,000-square foot space with a warehouse inside the spacious Together We Center. Built by Lingo Construction, the center also will feature a free medical clinic and clothing boutique.
“We will move during January and plan to open here by early February,” Manna Pantry director Sherri Rogers said Dec. 16.
This Saturday’s Ham Roll will be open to Manna Pantry clients only. Each recipient must have a ticket to pick up a Christmas ham.
Volunteers will provide “curbside service” during this drive-through holiday giveaway. Clients won’t even have to get out of their vehicles.
“We’re giving out 200 hams that have been donated by the community,” Rogers said. “They’ll come in the front and go out the back.”
Manna Pantry has been feeding Yukon’s hungry since 1975 when it opened a food closet inside Resurrection Lutheran Church. The pantry now serves both Yukon and Piedmont residents.
Manna Pantry later moved to Yukon’s First Christian Church near downtown Yukon before heading across the street to a renovated 800-square-foot house on the northeast corner of Sixth and Maple.
It’s been there since 2004 but has outgrown the space with increase demand for its service.
In 2020, Manna Pantry helped 3,205 families – 6,638 adults and 3,878 children.
Rogers believes those annual numbers could double with the new, larger location at the Together We Center.
Manna Pantry now serves Yukon and Piedmont residents but will expand to all Canadian County after the impending move.
IN THE MIDDLE
Manna Pantry will be in the middle of the newly built Together We Center building. The 3,000-square foot “Faith” medical clinic will be on one side with the 1,000-square foot “Woven” clothing boutique on the other.
Construction has been funded through $1.3 million in donations, which were raised before a Jan. 10th ground-breaking.
Organizers hope to eventually add free or discounted vehicle repairs and counseling, a barber shop, dental clinic, and other services.
Although part of the Together We ministry, the Manna Pantry name won’t change.
Volunteers expect to serve many more hungry clients – not just in Yukon, but across Canadian County – at the new center.
“It will be set up like a grocery store where they can do their own shopping with a ‘personal shopper’, a volunteer who can help them if they need advice on healthy options, how to prepare something or with recipes,” Rogers said.
“We will have a warehouse area to stock food, so we won’t have to put everything on the shelves as it comes in the door.”
Southwest Covenant Schools recently presented a $28,196.79 donation from its annual student-led Patriot Project in Yukon.
These monies are going toward the purchase of a 20-foot-by-9-foot “walk-in freezer”, furnishings, shelving, and equipment at Manna Pantry’s new home.
Learn more by calling (405) 265-0193.