By Conrad Dudderar
To feed hungry Canadian County families, Manna Pantry is hosting a “ham drive” for Thanksgiving.
The local non-profit food pantry has a goal to collect 500 hams for the upcoming holiday.
“We like to give each of our families a ham for Thanksgiving,” Manna Pantry Director Sherri Rogers said.
Supporters are asked to drop off hams from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday at the Manna Pantry, 620 N Cemetery Road – Building 2.
Donations of hams – and the funds to buy them – will be accepted before the ham distribution on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 1-4 p.m.
“We’ve been giving all our families who come in a ticket for a ham or turkey,” Rogers added. “They must bring the ticket to the distribution day.
“Our clients will be able to get other items for their Thanksgiving meal on their regular ‘shopping’ day.”
Manna Pantry’s new hours are Monday from 5-8 p.m., 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.
Since January, Manna Pantry has occupied a 2,000 square foot space at the Together We Center on Trinity Baptist Church-Yukon’s campus. Their new “home” features a commercial walk-in freezer and cooler, with a 300 square foot warehouse in back.
The pantry has greatly expanded its reach across Canadian County since moving from an 800-foot converted house in downtown Yukon. Previously, only Yukon and Piedmont residents were eligible to receive food.
“We had 443 families, with 1,397 individuals, come in last month,” Rogers reported. “It seems our numbers have increased every month since we’ve been here. We’ve already had more than 200 clients from Mustang, and others from El Reno and Union City.
“Since our new location opened Jan. 18, we’ve served 3,284 households and 10,354 individuals. That includes 653 new families.”
She estimated the Canadian County food pantry is serving “at least twice” as many people since before the move.
NEED FOR VOLUNTEERS
Manna Pantry relies on a loyal stable of volunteers – but more manpower is needed as the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach.
“We have food drives coming in over three weekends, with the Boy Scouts, St. John Nepomuk Church’s Knights of Columbus and Piedmont Schools’ ‘Students Against Hunger’,” Rogers added. “So, we need help boxing, sorting and putting the food away.”
Non-perishable food may be dropped off at any time inside donation bins in front of the Manna Pantry. No other items should be left in these bins.
Manna Pantry’s advisory committee members are Ramona Ritchie, Patty Clouse, Brian Grider, Paulette Statler, Vicki McKee, Scott Kinney, Kenneath Brantley, Kent Mathers, Susan Ellis, Becky Workman, Sheila Spangler, and Darren Heusel.
For more information, call (405) 265-0193 or e-mail email@example.com