Manna Pantry grows into space; serving all Canadian County

Local food bank flanked by clothing boutique, medical clinic at Together We Center

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Nothing makes Manna Pantry Director Sherri Rogers happier than fully-stocked bread shelves in a brand new facility. Since moving locations one month ago, the pantry has served 212 families. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

By Cara Pattison
Contributing Writer

According to the Bible, Manna is an edible bread-like substance which God provided the Israelites during a time of hardship. Similarly, the Yukon Manna Pantry is a force that allows those in-need to break bread with their families during times of need.

Blessed with good fortune themselves, the pantry moved Jan. 18 from a small dwelling at the northeast corner of Sixth and Maple, a site owned by the First Christian Church, to a new 2,000 square-foot space in the Together We Center.

“This moved couldn’t have happened at a better time,” Manna Pantry Director Sherri Rogers said.

“When we were moving out, a piece of the floor near the kitchen caved in. The timing was perfect.”

Manna Pantry has been in operation since 1975 when it was a food closet inside Resurrection Lutheran Church. The pantry moved to Yukon’s First Christian Church before transitioning into a home owned by the church across the street – at 123 S. Sixth – where it’s operated for the past 17 years.

The old home owned by the church will be soon put up for sale, First Christian Church Pastor Coy Reimer said.

“The home will have to be leveled,” Remer said. “We’ve got to get an estimate and have things looked at. The floors are caved in and there is no regular kitchen or bathroom. It is badly in need of repairs, so we are selling it.”

Beyond the blessing of good timing in moving locations, the Manna Pantry has shared their blessing by having served 212 families with perishable and nonperishable food since opening the doors to their new facility a month ago.

Stocked food shelves fill the space, including 10 freezers and four refrigerators, as well as plenty of shelf space, Manna Pantry Director Sherri Rogers said.

“We just had a 30-foot cooler donated to us and are waiting on a compressor to get it up-and-running. We’ve also purchased a 20-foot walk-in freezer. All I see for Manna Pantry is growth in our future.”

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SERVING ALL OF CANADIAN COUNTY

By growth, Rogers is referring to the fact that Manna Pantry now serves all of Canadian County, not just Yukon residents.

The Pantry, operated by volunteers, is now open seven shifts per week – Tuesday from 3-6 p.m., Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon, Thursday from 5-8 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

“We lessened the number of days we are open, but have increased the hours,” she said. “People can come in and shop instead of being given a bag of food.”

Manna Pantry hasn’t just opened up their pantry doors to those in need of food; they are also here for the community.

“We love being a part of Canadian County. And it’s not just Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, churches, and business food drives. Last Friday (Feb. 11), we hosted the Yukon Community Coffee group. There were over 100 people here. Some brought food to donate, and others gave a monetary donation.”

With their new location, Manna Pantry has acquired some “sister businesses” in the shared space.

Woven thrift store volunteer Melissa Inge (left) and Director London Lockhart welcome patrons to their clothing boutique nestled next door to Manna Pantry’s new location at the Together We Center. The Faith Clinic, a free medical clinic for those without health insurance, also is now open. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

Housed in the Together We Center, a white building in front of Yukon’s Trinity Baptist Church at 600 N. Cemetery Road, the pantry is joined by a thrift clothing store to the south and a free medical clinic.

Continuing Manna Pantry’s mission of serving those in need, the high-end recycled clothing boutique, Woven, is now open for business.

“If someone needs clothes for work or just in general, we provide them with affordable and fashionable clothing options,” Director London Lockhart said.

The thrift boutique hand-selects each “gently used” clothing item. Options are available for men, women and children. The store also carries jewelry and handbags.

This week, the Faith Clinic opened under the management of Together We executive director Brian Grider. The Faith Clinic is free to people without health insurance.

Organizers hope to eventually add free or discounted vehicle repairs and counseling, a barber shop, dental clinic, and other services.

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