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WSCM, Stanfield deliver hope, food

By Jesse Deal, for the SNAP

For the fourth consecutive year, the Stanfield Public Works Thanksgiving Food Drive provided a helping hand to the local community with the holiday season approaching.

Dozens of donators arrived at Stanfield Log Barn Park on Saturday to drop off non-perishable canned and boxed foods.

“We made 20 prepackaged meals for families using buckets,” said event organizer Nick Hathcock. “The rest of the food will go to West Stanly Christian Ministries. The families needing assistance come to them and then we take the food and the buckets to them. We try to provide a bucket and a frozen turkey to each of those families.”

Each bucket was filled to the brim with the traditional Thanksgiving fixings such as mashed potatoes, stuffing and green beans. Hathcock, along with a few other volunteers, helped box up all of the items and transport them down the road to West Stanly Christian Ministries’ food pantry.

Since 1996, that thrift store has operated — free of government funding — with the help of community donations. It has also began offering other outreach programs such as financial planning and high school equivalency classes. However, the yearly food drive has remained a substantial event for the business and its overall mission.

“Every year, Nick does the food drive to help us stock our pantry for Thanksgiving,” West Stanly Christian Ministries Assistant Director Brannon Sharpe said. “For seniors and shut-ins who need help preparing their meals, we have a church that’s going to help us bring those together and deliver them to the community.”

Sharpe said he has seen a spike in the overall food-assistance effort in this past year, mentioning that his staff helped distribute more than 1,200 pounds of food one day last week. In fact, Christian Ministries’ year-to-date numbers exceeded all of last year’s numbers by the end of August.

For Director Robert Britt, the Thanksgiving program is just another example of how a town can band together to give hope — and food — to those in the area who are less fortunate.

“What feels good is to see unity and the body of Christ functioning together to try to meet a goal,” Britt said. “I get excited about how you can’t pin this on Christian Ministries anymore than you can pin it on Stanfield or a guy who just showed up and dropped off a can of pumpkin. One of our mantras is ‘let’s make sure we’re rightly representing the kingdom of God.’ ”

Though the Town of Stanfield Public Works Department’s food drive has concluded, the thrift store accepts donations 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.