From Enterprise Staff
The volunteers of MannaFest Food Pantry have had a busy fall meeting the needs of local citizens. Four hundred seventy-two åwere served during the month of November, with the pantry averaging 59 families per day.
Monetary donations in November were $6,654, with the pantry receiving 4,131 pounds from Walmart, 544 pounds from Dollar General and 1,491 pounds from individuals. Additionally, 130 pounds of produce was received from Southeast Texas Food Bank.
In other activity, on Oct. 10, eight children from Central Baptist Church spent two hours volunteering, helping to fill boxes, package food items, carry out food for clients and whatever else was asked of them.
Students from Central Baptist Church also decorated bags for the Christmas goodies for the children. The bags have been stuffed with all kinds of candies, toys and craft kits, all donated by volunteers. The pantry began distributing the bags just before Thanksgiving when they began the distribution of Christmas food boxes for families with school-age children.
On Nov. 18, volunteers provided a Thanksgiving luncheon for the residents of Livingston Seniors Apartments, with Larry Jander frying a couple of turkeys. Other volunteers made potatoes, green bean casserole, desserts, cranberries and rolls. Residents of New Day House made Thanksgiving turkey decorations for each resident to take home.
On Nov. 21, Polk County Abstract Company employees delivered about 200 pounds of food that they had gathered in a food drive. On Nov. 22, volunteers drove to Naskila Gaming to collect 728 pounds of canned goods their employees had collected.
The day before Thanksgiving, Liz Jackson and members of her family arrived at MannaFest to volunteer as part of their Thanksgiving celebration, even bringing food to donate. They bagged pinto beans and sugar, climbed into the attic and loaded crates into the trailer.
On Thanksgiving Day, 24 teams of volunteers delivered 406 fresh, hot Thanksgiving meals to Polk County residents who were lonely, sick or in some other kind of need. The meals were cooked by a team of about 15 from all over Polk County at First Methodist Church.
Lions Club members delivered a check and groceries on Nov. 28 that were collected among their members. Club members also donated certificates for Christmas trees from their tree lot which will be given to families with children at home.
On Dec. 2, Escapees delivered almost 300 pounds of food collected from both employees and residents.
Seven employees from McCarthy Construction went with volunteers on delivery rounds to Livingston Seniors and Hudman Apartment Complexes on Dec. 3, bringing stockings filled with goodies for the seniors of all 116 apartments, following it up with a raffle for five different prizes. The employees also brought close to 1,000 pounds of food they had collected.
MannaFest Food Pantry will be open on Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 26.