It’s that time of year – the Giving Season. A 2012 GuideStar Survey reported that 50.5 percent of the non-profit organizations surveyed received the majority of their contributions between October and December.
In the spirit of giving, the Manchester’s Recreation Department hosted a food drive alongside their annual Christmas Parade. This year’s theme, “The Joy of Giving,” asked float-builders to host their own food drive and gathered donations to Good Samaritan. The public was invited to participate as well – at the end of the parade, the Manchester Street Department drove a truck that collected donations from the crowd.
The result filled the back of a Jeep and packed a truck bed with food. Good Samaritan counted 1,533 items they can give to families in need from the haul.
Manchester Recreation Department’s Amanda Morton said the food drive’s inaugural year went better than expected.
“I feel amazing about it. I feel like it went as well as it possibly could have gone in the first year,” Morton said.
Because this will be an annual occurrence, Morton wants to improve upon crowd participation next year.
Good Samaritan Director Fay Jones was thrilled to see their haul.
“You guys don’t know what a difference this makes,” she said.
Along with the parade food drive, the Recreation Center hosted their own. They asked for non-dented and non-expired canned food. Jones explained that if a can has a dent, the food inside of it may have been compromised. Every can has a seam and dents run the risk of opening the seam and allowing bacteria into the food. This is why food drives do not accept dented canned goods.
Food Lion drive
Every year, Food Lion gives customers the option to purchase a Holiday Without Hunger box for $5. In Manchester, these boxes are given to Good Samaritan.
“Our Food Lion is the No. 1 in the region. They are awesome,” Jones said. “Every single one (of the boxes) stays right here in Coffee County.”
The boxes contain mac and cheese, spaghetti and sauce, canned off-brand spaghetti-o’s, canned green beans and canned chicken noodle soup.
All of the items inside are similar to what Good Samaritan already gives. The boxes are a supplement for the families in need to help them get through the holidays and through January.
Good Samaritan helps about 600 families every month. This drive gives Good Samaritan about 4,000 Food Lion Holidays Without Hunger boxes.
“Manchester is the most giving most giving community,” Jones added. “We care about our neighbors.”
Food Lion will be continuing the drive until they run out of supplies. Food Lion’s official website states the donation drive will end on Dec. 18. If unable to purchase a box, a customer has the option of making an in-store donation when checking out.
In 2017, Food Lion reports it sold 365,817 boxes and donated over 18.2 million meals.