Interfaith Food Closet taking part in national food drive

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019

VALLEY — A local food bank will participate in this weekend’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

The Interfaith Food Closet is holding its annual food drive Saturday and the Lanett and Valley post offices will collect non-perishable goods to drop off to the food closet.

“On Saturday, hopefully, this whole place would just be filled with food,” Interfaith Food Closet chairman Donnie Erwin Brown said while looking around the organization’s headquarters behind Langdale Methodist Church.

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Citizens can also donate by sitting food at their mailbox before their mail carrier’s normal delivery time or by donating at food baskets inside of Givorns Foods. Erwin-Brown also emphasized the importance of citizens donating food that was in date, and not expired because the organization cannot give out expired goods.

This is the 35th year of the food closet’s existence, and Erwin-Brown’s fifth year in his current position after retiring from ministry.

The food bank gives out goods to locals who are in an emergency. Those emergencies can range from grandparents keeping their grandchildren, someone losing their job, going to the hospital or anyone on welfare who runs out of food at the end of the month. Since the start of 2019, the bank has fed more than 1,250 people, 376 families while giving out approximately 5,000 meals. The nonprofit foundation is sponsored by 23 local churches throughout the year.

Each family or individual can make six trips to the food bank a year. Citizens who come to the bank receive milk, peanut butter, breakfast items, spaghetti sauce, spaghetti noodles, macaroni and cheese, sleeve of crackers, flour, a meal, a pack of wieners, margarine, rice, dried beans, cartons of eggs, toilet tissue and soap, ramen noodles, a can of fruit, cans of vegetables, powdered milk if needed and another miscellaneous items.

Donations are accepted throughout the year, but the annual food drive is the main event that fills the shelves inside of the bank. Receiving the necessary amount of goods or volunteer assistance from the Valley community has never been a concern to Erwin-Brown.

“I think most of the people [here] see a need, and they want to meet that need,” he said. “This is a way for them to do it. They can come down here, they meet other people from other churches. You can come down here as a volunteer on any day of the week when it’s a slow day to talk to one another, get to know one another. They clean, empty the garbage and everything so it’s just giving back.

The Interfaith Food Closet is open five days a week, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Friday. All listed times are Eastern.