Beth'el Baptist food bank needs donations for holidays

Friday, November 17, 2006
Volunteers for the food bank of Beth'el Baptist Church are (from left) Barbara Lynch, co-director, Cathy Miranda, director, Charles Bell, Janet Bell, and Loretta Young. The food bank provides groceries for more than 150 families a month, but recently donations have been low, said Miranda. Therefore, they are asking the community for monetary donations, as well as holiday items including stuffing mix, sweet potatos, cranberry sauce, mashed potato mix and pumpkin. Not pictured is Patti Villines, Herman Fryar, Doyle Lynch and Rob Brown.

GREEN FOREST -- The food bank ministry of Beth'el Baptist Church is in need of monetary and food donations for holiday baskets, which have annually been given to the underprivlegded of Carroll County since 1997.

"We are low on food and funds," said Cathy Miranda, director of the Beth'el Food Pantry. "We need financial donations as well as Thanksgiving meal items."

Last year, Miranda said the pantry handed out more than 300 turkeys during the holiday season.

However, this year one of the donors has closed its doors and the other non-profit organizations that the pantry is used to getting food from are "down on their donations."

Kirk Powell recently donated 31 turkeys to the cause, but unfortunately Miranda said that wouldn't cover the 150 to 200 baskets that are given out in the month of November alone.

In fact, the food pantry has recently been purchasing their items at retail costs and have spent more than $3,000 within the last six months. "On a six month period when food is plentiful, we normally spend $1,000 to $1,500. We also get food for 14 cents a pound from the Ozark Food Bank, but right now they don't have a lot to offer."

The money they have used to support their pantry comes from community donors, church members, the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, a monthly $100 donation plus regular food drive items from the Grandview Baptist Church, and a grant in the amount of $1,000 a year from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.

When asked how she plans to come up with the holiday baskets this year, Miranda said, "We have every faith that God will provide it somehow."

The food pantry is open "for anybody in need" on Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. at the pantry building next to Beth'el Baptist Church at 1305 East Main St. in Green Forest.

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