By Emily Banks Wooten
After serving 10 years as director of MannaFest Food Pantry, Director Marilyn Wise is ready to step down. As a result, the local food pantry has some big shoes to fill.
Located at 803 W. Feagin St. in Livingston, MannaFest is a food pantry for those in need in Polk County. However, the volunteers also provide children’s birthday books, Easter outreach, school supplies and Thanksgiving dinner. It is open from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Fridays.
“We have someone who is interested in leadership of the pantry, on a ‘shared responsibility’ basis. We need one more person, so that we can have a director and an assistant director, who would share the responsibilities of running the pantry,” Wise said, adding, “They could also split Mondays and Fridays between themselves, as they see fit.”
Wise has put together a comprehensive, but not necessarily complete, list of duties the current director is covering. On this list, she has indicated what must be covered by the director and what could be covered by an assistant director or other volunteers.
“Please let me know if you would be willing to take on, or would like to talk to me about, any of the above positions,” Wise said.
Some of the food pantry’s needs have already been met.
“We have someone who has stepped up to take charge of our Thanksgiving meal delivery. We also have someone who will be in charge of the Easter flower delivery,” Wise said.
“We still need someone who would coordinate first Saturday mornings. This would mean coordinating the volunteer delivery people; arriving at the pantry early enough on the first Saturday (or on Friday afternoon) to set up the line for senior delivery; supervising the filling of the boxes for delivery; resetting the line for regular Saturday morning customers; and supervising the pantry until 11 a.m., which is closing time, making sure the pantry is closed, lights off, etc. and doors locked at that time,” Wise said. “During the month, we set aside items for the seniors as they become available. On Saturday, it’s just a matter of getting it all ready for delivery.
“We also need someone who would be in charge of opening and closing the pantry and helping the Southeast Texas Food Bank people from 9-10 a.m. on the second Thursday of each when we have senior boxes,” Wise said.