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Food is 'blessing' for many
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Volunteers help put together Christmas food baskets through United Way of the Coastal Empire-Liberty County Branch Some 300 households received food. - photo by Photo by Dan Scott

Michael Murphy called the United Way of the Coastal Empire-Liberty County Branch’s Christmas food basket distribution "a blessing."

"We’re on Social Security and we don’t get a lot of money," said Murphy, who is a Hinesville resident. "We were able to get our boys one present each, so this will help us out a lot."

Around 300 households were given food Wednesday morning at the Performing Arts Center and 60 of those recipients were delivered food.

People registered for the distribution and over 80 volunteers from the community packed recipients’ cars with boxes of food. Foods included squash, eggs, 10 pound chicken, pre-packaged box of assorted non-perishable items and cartons of orange juice.

Jennifer Darsey, executive director of the local United Way branch, said the mass, mobile food distribution, in its fifth year, was funded and paid for through the United Way. The food came from Second Harvest food bank.

"It’s a food resource and food is a basic human need, so there’s no one in America that should be hungry," Darsey said, adding that meeting that need is a priority for United Way.

Darsey believes serving others and giving back to the community should be a priority in people’s lives.

"We’re not simply individuals who exist not to help other people, but our job is to help other people. See a need, fill a need. Hungry people - that’s unacceptable. No one should be hungry," Darsey said.

Volunteer Breauna Shabron said it was an honor to help the community and see smiles on people’s faces. Darsey said it took about 25,000 pounds of food, 60-80 volunteers, mass manpower and "a group of passionate, hardworking people" to do the distribution.

"Support the United Way of the Coastal Empire because without our donors and donor dollars we can’t do what we do," Darsey said. "So we need the community to support."

Murphy said he heard about the event when he went to the United Way office to learn about local food banks. He filled out an application to receive food and showed up Wednesday very grateful for what was being done.

"Well I’m just glad to have someone that cares about me because if I didn’t I’d probably be one of those statistics," Murphy said.

The United Way of the Coastal Empire Liberty County Branch office is located at 135 East ML King Jr. Dr.

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