Manna Pantry to host annual food drive
Yukon residents soon will have the opportunity to help “Stamp Out Hunger.”
The Manna Pantry will host its annual National Association of Letter Carriers food drive on May 13.
The Letter Carrier’s Food Drive is coordinated through the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and is in its 25th year. The Manna Pantry has been involved with the food drive for at least 10 years.
Last year the food drive gathered about 30,000 pounds of food from the community through the Manna Pantry.
“We’re very blessed to have had that much donated,” Director Jennifer Wild said.
The biggest way for residents to help is by putting food out by their mail box on May 13 for the letter carrier’s to pick up.
Donated food should be non-perishable, but the pantry could always use macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, cereal, crackers and more.
Wild said a lot of times people prefer to donate canned food. The pantry could always use canned fruit.
“Anything that is non-perishable, but those items specifically would be awesome. Something, for example pancake mix, that could make multiple meals. That’s why we ask for things like peanut butter and jelly so it can make multiple meals,” Wild said.
The letter carriers deliver the donated food directly to the Manna Pantry. Wild said most pantries have to go to the post office to pick up the donated items, but they’re fortunate enough to have letter carriers who drop it off directly to them.
The pantry needs volunteers for the day to help sort the donated items.
“We are very busy that day and we could really use volunteers, specifically in the afternoon,” Wild said.
Volunteers are needed any time between noon and 5 p.m. on May 13.
“It’s whatever they want to do. We always have people coming and going. This is a great time for groups to get involved because it’s such a huge event for us. We’ll need all the help we can get,” Wild said.
One church has offered to provide meals for the letter carriers and another church is providing food for the volunteers.
The Manna Pantry is operated by the Minister Alliance, which is all the churches in Yukon, and helps people in Yukon and in the Yukon Public Schools District.
Individuals are able to come once a month to get food, and they can come in two weeks after their initial visit to get what they call “mid-cycle,” which is anything perishable such as a milk, eggs, bread, yogurt, salad, fruit, anything like that.
“This food drive is critical and essential for us to continue the work here. We receive so much food through this one event, and it really helps us throughout the year,” Wild said. “We help approximately 500 families a month in Yukon, so it’s essential that we have this. It’s our largest food drive of the year and it helps get us through the summer.
“If anyone is interested in any form, whether it’s for this event or for something else… we’re all volunteers. We have no paid staff and we would love for anyone interested to come and check us out.”