“The community continues to respond with tremendous support,” said Mike Carr, director of the Christian Love Pantry.
The Christian Love Pantry is a non-profit organization that provides non-perishable food items to individuals and families in need in St. Clair County.
“The number of clients we help is up, as more and more people need assistance,” Carr said.
Carr said the Christian Love Pantry saw a 6-8 percent growth each year until 2008.
“In 2008, the numbers increased by more than 20 percent,” he said. “In 2009, there was about an 11 percent growth, and that is about the growth we have seen this year as well.”
Carr said the Christian Love Pantry is a United Way funded agency, and appreciates that support.
“And we couldn’t do this without the community,” he said. “When we have a need, the community responds.”
Carr said the Christian Love Pantry was able to give out 99 turkeys and 56 hams at Thanksgiving, along with all the fixings for a holiday meal.
“We bought 25 turkeys, and the rest were donated,” he said. “We had one family bring in three or four turkeys with all the meal fixings, another lady brought in 15 turkeys, and a company donated 25. It wasn’t a single contribution that got us there — it was a lot of little contributions.”
Carr said he hopes to be able to provide the same turkey and ham meals at Christmas.
“A few people have told us they will donate turkeys, but we haven’t had sources commit to donating all the turkeys we need yet,” he said.
Carr said due to limited space at the Christian Love Pantry to store the turkeys, he asks that individuals wishing to donate frozen turkeys do so the morning of Dec. 21.
“We plan to give out the turkey meals that day, so storing them won’t be a big issue,” he said. “We ask that people bring the turkeys between 9 a.m.-noon so we can get them ready to go. We can accept some turkeys the day before, but it is best to call and make sure we have room to house them. If individuals or companies wanting to donate turkeys can’t do so on Dec. 21, please call us so we can make arrangements.”
Coupons and gift certificates for frozen turkeys are also appreciated.
Carr said the Christian Love Pantry has enough cranberry sauce to go with the holiday meals, however, other holiday-specific meal fixings are needed.
“We can use stuffing and things like sweet potatoes and gravy,” he said. “Basically the foods you would fix on Christmas.”
Carr said individuals may also donate items on the Christian Love Pantry food list, which includes oatmeal, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, Treet (meat similar to Spam), spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, tuna fish, Tuna Helper, Vienna sausage, grits, juice, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, jelly, soup, pork and beans, mayonnaise, beef stew, corn, fruit, rice, flour, corn meal, crackers, apple sauce, and ramen noodles.
“We can also use volunteers to help out,” he said.
Carr said the Christian Love Pantry is open 9 a.m.-noon Monday through Friday, and volunteers are able to help out one day a month, or more if they want.
“We really want to thank the community for the continued support they give us,” he said. “It was great to see the look on the people’s faces at Thanksgiving. I am absolutely sure they appreciated the food we provided.”
For more information or to donate, call Christian Love Pantry director Mike Carr at 205-527-4217 or the Christian Love Pantry at 205-338-2358. Checks may be made payable to Christian Love Pantry and mailed to 205 Edwin Holliday Place, Pell City, AL 35125.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.