Recreation department sponsoring food drive

Charles Warner Editor

October 23, 2013

UNION COUNTY — A food drive to benefit the pantry of a local church’s outreach ministry is under way and the county department conducting it is urging the public to donate.

On Monday, a box was placed in the hallway of the Union County Courthouse with a sign stating that is for donations for a food drive that will be conducted through Friday.

The sign further states that all donations will benefit the Trinity Baptist Church Food Pantry and asks that those passing by “please give non-perishable items as you are able.”

The box was placed in the hallway by the Union County Recreation Department which is conducting the food drive.

Jessica Gallman, program director for the recreation department, said Tuesday that the food drive is part of a United Way program and was proposed by a member of the organization to the department’s director.

“Stock the Pantry is a United Way program,” Gallman said. “Our recreation director Becky Cobb was approached with the idea by one of the ladies that works with United Way. She took it and ran with it.”

Gallman said the department is encouraging all county employees to contribute, but that the public is also urged to contribute.

“We’re encouraging every county agency, every county employee to donate, but anybody can make a donation of non-perishable food items,” Gallman said.

The non-perishable items that can be donated include:

• Canned fruit and vegetables

• Canned soups

• Pasta/rice

• Pancake mix

• Grits/oatmeal

• Canned milk

• Peanut Butter

• Jelly and jam

• Boxed dinners

• Baby food

• Canned meats

The food drive will conclude Friday, but Gallman said that won’t be the end of the project.

“Union County employees will stock the pantry at Trinity,” Gallman said. “That gives us an opportunity to learn how this food pantry operates.”

Gallman said the stocking of the shelves will take place sometime the first full week of November.

Trinity Baptist Church seeks to minister to the needs of low-income families and homeless individuals through its Channel of Blessings Community Outreach Ministry. The ministry distributes food and essential household items at 12 different locations in Union County. The church is currently assisting 600 families a month through its distribution program.

The church also helps families in crisis situations with everything from food and clothes to blankets and furniture and has paired with other agencies to provide those families power bills and temporary shelter. The church also provides assistance to the county’s homeless population.

Rev. Neil Keisler is pastor Trinity Baptist and director its outreach ministry. He thanked the recreation department for its efforts which he said will be of great help to the church and its ministry.

“It definitely meets a big need,” Keisler said. “Non-perishable items and canned goods are scare, they are hard to come by. This fills a big void in our ministry.”

For more information about the food drive or to volunteer contact the Union County Recreation Department at 864-429-1670 or bcobb@countyofunion.com.

Anyone who needs the help of Trinity Baptist’s Channel of Blessings Community Outreach Ministry should call Rev. Keisler at 864-706-0481.

Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at cwarner@civitasmedia.com.