Manna Pantry begins search for new home

After more than 20 years, the little house on Sixth Street is now too small to meet the needs of Manna Pantry.

Renee Grannis, who serves on the pantry’s board of directors, said this week that Manna Pantry is actively seeking a new location.

Manna Pantry, which provides emergency food to more than 300 Yukon families each month, has been in the same location at 123 S. Sixth St. for more than 20 years. The building is about 900 square feet and much too small to handle the amount of business that needs to be conducted.

Its wood flooring and foundation are not sturdy enough to continually hold the thousands of pounds of food the pantry receives from various food drives and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

Cracks are beginning to show in the structure. Grannis said the pantry would like to find a new location, preferably one with concrete floors and plenty of space to grow.

Currently, the pantry is using storage space provided by the First Christian Church and another nearby facility. But, the idea is to move everything under one roof, she said.

The pantry is operated by the Yukon Ministerial Alliance, but that organization is not in the position to provide significant financial support.

So, like the people it serves, Manna Pantry is looking for a hand-up, not a hand-out. Though, Grannis said a donation of a building or significant space would be welcomed.

“We don’t have a lot of money,” Grannis said.

The charity has started looking for a new location, but most to the sites that have been checked so far are priced out of their budget.

But a new facility is needed.

“We have outgrown our facilities,” she said.

The number of people served by Manna Pantry is continuing to grow as people lose their jobs.

Grannis said that while parts of the state are seeing improvements, the metropolitan area continues to see a variety of companies laying off workers.

People are faced with the choice of paying their bills and providing nutritious food for their families.

“When we do food drives, we can receive up to 35,000 pounds of food. This building cannot handle that,” Grannis said.

She said the charity needs a facility that has about 2,500 square feet of space with running water and a restroom.

Warehouse space, she said, would be perfect because that would allow several charities to utilize the space under the ministerial alliance’s umbrella.

“We could put everything under one roof,” she said.

For Manna Pantry, that also would mean more space to accept donations.

Currently, they receive food deliveries from one grocer every day, and at least weekly deliveries from three other grocers. With a larger space, all of the grocers could offer daily deliveries.

That would also help feed more people, she said.

“We are very grateful for what the First Christian Church has done. The church has been very helpful,” Grannis said.

To meet the growing need, Manna Pantry has expanded its hours, now providing food five days a week.

The pantry is closed only on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Grannis said officials would like to move to a new location as soon as possible, but realistically hope to move this summer.

For more information about Manna Pantry, and its needs, visit its facebook page, or contact Grannis at [email protected].

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