Help Manna House
• To help the Manna House, call the Rev. Katrina Deason at 368-3660 or 492-0771.
Kroger has raised more than $4,000 during six weeks of collecting money for the local food bank, Manna House Second Harvest Satellite.
The Hinesville Kroger participated in the statewide initiative, dubbed the 2010 Can Hunger campaign, by selling $1 and $5 icons from Nov. 14- Dec. 31.
"We are extremely grateful to all of the individuals who willingly gave back to their community during such an economically challenging time," said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations of Kroger’s Atlanta Division. "The contributions made by Kroger customers and associates make the Can Hunger campaign possible and are a testament of the true character that runs through this community."
Manna House Executive Director the Rev. Katrina Deason said she is grateful to the community for coming together to raise the funds.
"It is coming at a really good time," Deason said. The need for food in Liberty County in 2010 grew by one-third compared with 2009, she said.
"I just think it has to do with the economy and the layoffs we’ve had. We’ve had a surge in the unemployment … I say this all the time: Our greatest supporters are the common folk helping the common folk. Sometimes we feel like we can’t do a lot so we may be prone to do nothing, but when a lot of people do something, it becomes substantial," Deason said. "And, you’re able to feed the people."
She expects the check to arrive sometime this week, and the funds will be used to buy meals for the soup kitchen, which offers food to 35 to 40 people a day, she said. Those who come for supper from 4-6 p.m. are sometimes families who are waiting for their food stamp applications to be approved and have nothing to eat in the meantime, according to the pantry director.
"We’ve taken the hit like others, because of the recession and we’ve taken a hit like every nonprofit has. We have more to do with less," she said. "The only thing I can say is I’m a minister so I’ve got to let God fill in the blanks."
In addition to Kroger, Deason said other local grocery stores have been generous in donating food daily to the pantry — some items coming right off the shelves that won’t expire for another two to three days — to ensure food is not wasted and stomachs are filled.
Deason said she and other board members are putting together a "Friends of Manna House" fund to get contributions — big and small — rolling in for the nonprofit. For the past 18 years, the pantry has supplied perishable and non-perishable items to those in need throughout the community.
"I just want to thank everyone," Deason said of the support through the Can Hunger campaign. "They [Kroger customers] didn’t realize it would turn out to be something substantial."