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Manna House moves; still busy
Rodents run charity out of county-owned building
Manna House volunteer Lisa Harper organizes cans and boxes of food at the food pantry’s new location on Memorial Drive. The nonprofit moved recently, but the staff is getting settled and they’re helping hundreds of clients each month. - photo by Photo by L. Dana Findley Dodge
Manna House in Liberty County may have a new home, but it’s business as usual for the food pantry’s director and staff of volunteers.
The nonprofit, which for 18 years sat on Court Street, relocated recently to 244 W. Memorial Drive, between the Hinesville public library and Liberty Prayer Center. Liberty County Assistant Administrator Bob Sprinkel said last week Manna House and the Board of Elections and Voter Registration office, which were housed in the same building, moved because of a rodent infestation problem.
With scarcely a moment to get settled in their new facility, Manna House’s staffers haven’t missed a beat when it comes to serving their clientele. And despite the move, foot traffic at the food pantry hasn’t tapered off.
“We feed somewhere between 700-900 people a month,” Manna House Director Pastor Katrina Deason said.
Manna House’s partner agency, Second Harvest food bank of Savannah, helps the local pantry by providing affordable supplies.
“I can buy food for 18  cents a pound. It is amazing what I can buy for 18 cents,’’ Deason said.
The food from Second Harvest feeds most of Manna House’s clients, but the director said several Hinesville stores provide the pantry with perishables such as deli products, fruits, vegetables and bread.
“Times are tough, but the businesses haven’t forgotten us. We are a community that does not forget and it could not be done without the help of others,” Deason said. “I had a man come to me a couple years ago and ask about paying the water bill. He just had the bill transferred to his account so we would not have to worry.”
Stores and eateries aren’t the only entities keeping Manna House up and running. The director said her volunteer staff is essential to the operation.
“I have committed volunteers. I have one man who makes the pick-up from the local stores and delivers to the Manna House six days a week. Another volunteer, Lisa Harper, is a registered nurse, but when she isn’t at work taking care of people, she is here helping us,” Deason said.  
And now, more than ever, the director said, Manna House needs helpers, supplies and support. The recent move required a lot of hard work and time, and the pantry is struggling to keep up with demand. Deason said she could use more volunteers to help with pick-ups and deliveries.
“We were blessed by the county for giving us our last home for
18 years, but now we need the
resources to continue to feed the needy in our community,” she said. The new, smaller location has little storage space, so Manna House can no longer offer clothing to clients.
Manna House is open from 10 a.m.-noon  Monday through Saturday. The nonprofit’s soup kitchen is open from 4:30-6 p.m. The kitchen provides one hot meal a day to the homeless or to people who cannot cook because their electricity has been shut off due to non-payment. The food bank also helps low-income senior citizens through its senior brown bag program. Deason said anyone interested in making a donation or volunteering can call 368-3660.

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