A local church group is collecting meals prior to a countywide day of service.
At a recent service, members of Cumming First United Methodist Church began a food donation drive to collect items for One Great Day of Service, an annual event hosted by the church in which members do a variety of service projects in the county.
“Part of that event is food sorting and kind of restocking our food pantries for the spring months,” said Barbara Ledbetter, food pantry coordinator at the church. “In order to have the food here in time to sort that food, we have to start it off a couple of weeks ahead of time so people have actual time to go to the store and get the items they want to donate.”
Donations can be dropped at the church from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and church staff will be taking bags of food outside the church this Sunday.
Non-perishable items such as peanut butter, canned meats, rice, dry beans and more will be accepted. Organizers ask that donations not have glass.
Ledbetter said the food pantry serves hundreds of local families and members try to give out balanced meals.
“We serve anywhere from 350-400 families a month,” she said. “It’s a full bag of groceries. We try to get bananas. We give meat. We’re lucky because we have several local stores who donate bread to us, so they get bread and some sweet stuff too.”
Serving that many local families takes a whole team, Ledbetter said.
“I just started this job in July, and I’ve kind of been kind of amazed at how it works. It takes a lot of work,” she said. “We have volunteers that pack bags different days of the week. They have stockers and people that do inventory. It takes a village, and so it is really important that we have these donations to fulfill the needs of the community.”
The food collected in the drive will be given out in One Great Day of Service, which will include several service projects in the county.
“The Great Day of Service is when people all over our county who want to do this or are invited to do this sign up and do different projects,” she said. “We have local houses they work on. We even have things like the ice cream social at a couple of retirement homes. It’s a lot of different projects.”
Cumming First United Methodist is located at 770 Canton Highway. Ledbetter can be contacted by phone at 770-887-2900 ext. 236.