MUST Ministries is experiencing the greatest food need in its 49-year history
“No words can express the desperation we’ve seen in the past few months. No food, no jobs, no place to live…..and no hope,” stated MUST Ministries President and CEO Dr. Ike Reighard.
“For 49 years, MUST Ministries has been called to offer help and hope, but we have never seen such an insurmountable need. During the pandemic, we have done everything we can to serve those in poverty and those plunging into poverty for the first time,” he explained. “Families are trusting us in one of the most trying times of their lives and yet we must have more help to meet the overwhelming need.”
The truth is, food sources are scarce, Reighard continued. The food banks can’t help because their inventory is virtually gone. The grocery stores have a limit on quantities and the aluminum shortage has reduced the availability of canned goods.
Because of these difficult situations, MUST is calling on the public to pitch in during this unprecedented crisis. The nonprofit is requesting people consider two ways to help.
1. Host a food drive for items needed most: Canned vegetables (beans, corn, green beans, tomatoes) Beef stew Canned meats (chicken, tuna, ham) Chunky or condensed soups Canned fruit or fruit cups Mac and Cheese boxes Pasta Canned pasta Spaghetti sauce with meat Chilli
2. Give financially or raise money to give. Limited food supply means less food donated.
“Schools, churches and businesses who normally give have been closed. Most of our food supply has to be purchased – about 80% – and at retail prices. We need PALLETS of food each week,” Reighard said.
To put this in perspective, MUST has distributed more than 1.2 MILLION POUNDS of food since March 16. MUST has 39 school food pantries and 3 client services pantries, sends food boxes to senior citizens in two counties and just finished the annual Summer Lunch program where a record 379,471 meals were provided to at-risk children in five counties. Marietta-based MUST Ministries has been delivering food to its 39 MUST Neighborhood Pantry programs embedded in public schools, a source of providing 384,419 pounds of food since COVID began in March.
“Never has the scripture ‘I was hungry and you fed me’ meant so much to so many,” Reighard said. “Right now, we are praying the community will come to the rescue of their neighbors in need. If people will shop this week and bring us food, it will help save the day.”
Food donations can be dropped off at the MUST Donation Center drive-thru at 1280 Field Parkway off Highway 41, open Tuesday – Saturday, 9-5. The Donation Center is closed Saturday – Monday to give our hard-working staff some time off, Reighard explained. “It’s been a long six months of non-stop outreach.” Financial donations can be made at mustministries.org by clicking the donate button on the front page.
And combine a little fun by attending The Taste of the Fair at Jim Miller Park, Marietta, on the weekends of September 25-27 and October 2-4 by taking 7 non-perishable canned goods to help MUST Ministries fill their food pantries. Each person that donates 7 non-perishable can goods will receive a FREE ticket to the 2021 Superior Plumbing Presents North Georgia State Fair.