Special delivery: Emergency pantry benefits from food drive

By Terry Groover

Staff Writer

Postal customers delivered Saturday for the Manna food pantry in Yukon, officials said Monday.

Jennifer Wild, the executive director for the emergency food pantry, said 29,186 pounds of food was delivered to the pantry Saturday by letter carriers as part of the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

Postal customers were encouraged to donate nonperishable food to help the less fortunate.

Wild said additional food is waiting to be picked up at the post office.

“We are very happy,” she said.

The early total is about the same as the total received last year, but that number included more than 3,000 pounds of food from the Piedmont post office. Piedmont did not participate in Yukon’s food drive this year.

This year’s drive brought in a large amount of canned meat, as well as fruit. Both types of food are considered expensive donations, and will enable the food pantry to focus on purchasing other, less expensive items.

“This allows us to focus on other things,” she said.

The food pantry sees a substantial increase in requests for help during the fall and holiday season. Wild said this will allow the pantry to stay under budget and have more funds to expend later.

“Fall is a busy time,” she said.

The pantry, which is full for the moment, goes through a large amount of staple items such as pancake mixes, cereal, peanut butter, hot dogs and sandwich meat.

Current concerns are for latch-key kids. The pantry can provide foods that will stretch … such as peanut butter.

We feel like it benefits kids. We can buy a few more things,” she said.

The pantry is a member of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

More than 75 people turned out to help unload and weight the donations, Wild said. That included individuals, churches and civic groups.

But more help is still needed. Wild said the pantry continues to sort through the boxes to get an inventory of donations.

Anyone interested in volunteering, is asked to call Sheri Rogers at 474-7678.

Last month the pantry assisted more than 700 people, officials said.

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