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Manna in need of more volunteers

The holiday season is a time for giving.

Hundreds of people in our area either donate items or time to Manna Food Pantries. But the need for volunteers isn't just during certain seasons. They need people to help year around.
"I had a hard Christmas because I didn't  have hardly any food. My refrigerator is about empty and Christmas was sad for  me," said Margie Patterson.

Every year Manna helps feed around 45,000 people.It takes several  hours and numerous volunteers to get the job done. Each volunteer has their own job from sorting goods, packing bags, to helping clients.

It's a well oiled machine.

"The grease in that machine that's volunteers," said Brunie Emmanuel, Operations Director.
Tracy Wise's job is gardening. A year ago she retired from her job and now volunteers with a few organizations.

She said she notices more volunteers show up during the holidays

"People aren't just hungry at Christmas time I think that's the thing people need to remember," said Tracy Wise.
Tracy says it was easy to choose Manna. She volunteers around six hours a week.

"I think that this is a service that is so needed in the community especially with people struggling now a days with the unemployment and the variety of other things for them to have an option to put food on the plates for their children and families," said Wise.
Once the new year begins it becomes a busy season for the food pantry.

"You can only get food four times a year here and our year is about to reset, so maybe people we haven't seen in six to nine months will start to come in starting January 2nd," said Jay Bradshaw.

Margie Patterson says she's thankful for those who donate their time and as well as food.

To find out more on how you can help volunteer you can call Manna Food Pantries at (850) 432-2053.