“Great things happen here during the holidays,” said Morgan County Food Pantry Director Tracy Kummer. She explained that people innately really want to help each other out.
In past years businesses and neighborhoods have come forward, asking if there was anyone or any family they could help. For instance, at holiday parties “a giving tree” has been organized. The “tree” has descriptions of recipients and a gift request from each one. The recipients are only identified by their gender and age. Everything else is kept confidential. Community members can then choose a recipient and purchase a gift. These gifts are gathered and brought to the food pantry.
All that is donated goes to those who need. Tracy explained,” last year there were some items left over from Sub for Santa contributions. When needy families came in to get their holiday boxes they were thrilled to discover that they could also choose something for their family from the left over contributions. The remainder of the items were requested by an associate with Child and Family Services, and given to those children in need of Christmas cheer.
Reflecting back on the three years she has served as director, Kummer referred to the food drive log books. The log books showed, as of November 2012 for the year:
Scout Drive - 11,242 1/2 lbs
Postal Carriers - 2,702 lbs
Scout Drive - 10,930 lbs
Postal Carriers - 3,865 lbs
Scout Drive - 10,800 lbs
Postal Carriers - 3,926 lbs
Though the food pantry receives donations through the year, the scout drive and postal drive are the main drives that directly help support the Morgan food pantry.
Another great source of food donations last year was the food drive at Ridley’s Market. Customers could purchase grocery grab bags that were then donated to the food pantry. Kummer explained that a large box sitting on pallets in the food pantry was filled to the top four times by generous Ridley’s customers. This had a great impact on filling shelves in the pantry and helped contribute to the holiday boxes for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Just as a reminder, those receiving these holiday boxes or the Sub for Santa program must first qualify. To qualify you must meet the requirements of the 2012 Federal Poverty Guidelines which are as follows: a single person family can make a up to a $16,755 gross yearly income or a $1,396 gross monthly income; family of two $22,695 per year or $1,891 a month; family of three $28,635 or $2,387 a month; family of four $34,575 or $2,881 a month; family of five $40,515 or $3,376 a month; family of six $46,455 or $3,871 a month; family of seven $52,395 or $4,366 a month; family of eight $58,335 or $4,861 a month. Families over eight add $5,940 per child to the gross yearly income or $495 per child to the gross monthly income.
Kummer, said they are hoping for another wonderful prize to raffle off this year in conjunction with the Sub for Santa donations at the city Christmas celebration. It is yet to be announced what the prize will be. For more information, if you would like to help or need help, contact Tracy Kummer at 801-829-8533.