Brimming with Helpers, Food, and Thanks
Manna Food Center opens at 8 a.m.
At 7:15 a.m. in Gaithersburg, the cold sky promised rain, and the air chilled those exposed places on your neck and ears. Jackie, Manna’s Executive Director, arrived early to start her workday to find a woman waiting at the locked doors of Manna’s warehouse. At the height of Manna’s busiest season, this woman was not here to receive food. On her way to work, she dropped by to donate food: 68 pounds.
This is the spirit of gratitude filling Manna to the brim this week, those with a generous offering for their neighbors’ table, and those humbly waiting in the lobby to receive.
Today is a record day in Manna’s 30 years of serving the community: we are honored to provide 487 families food for Thanksgiving. In our modest lobby, 354 will stand in line for a monthly food box. 105 families will receive a Manna food box at Catholic Charities, one of many valued faith-based partners. The remaining 28 boxes will be delivered to a low-income housing complex. Five of those boxes are specially created for clients with diabetes.
Yesterday was nearly as significant a gathering, and if you came into Manna’s office, you would be greeted with the stillness of empty cubicles. Everyone from every department left a day’s worth of e-mails and to-do’s to assemble boxes, sign-in clients, replenish food, and deliver boxes to client’s transportation alongside dozens of devoted volunteers—individuals pitching in and corporate partners coming in teams—all joining to serve.
Today, we gather again, to tape boxes, distribute recipes, stop and smile to clients—waiting in a long, wet line that extends to the street–who Manna’s lobby from the cold winter rain. And we thank you: for your time, your donations, and your support of this critical work. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Update: On November 27th, 2013, Manna served 534 families.