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Big Thanks From Manna Food Pantry, But Need Persists

Bob Barrett

Chris Rutledge, the President and CEO of Gulf Winds Federal Credit Union, stood in the sunshine at the Gonzalez Street headquarters of Manna Food Pantries Monday morning to present a check to help get the community organization back on its feet after last month's floods. The check was for over $146,000.

It represented the result of a fund raising effort the credit union held on their web site and at their branches. Rutledge said the plan was for Gulf Winds to match $50,000 in donations from the community.  They ended up getting over $96,000. In addition, Gulf Winds helped out with equipment, including a travel trailer filled with computer and office equipment that is serving as Manna's temporary headquarters.

Dee Dee Flounlacker, the Executive Director of Manna Food Pantries accepted the check and expressed gratitude to the credit union, their customers and the entire community for the outpouring of support since last month's flood. She said they are accepting food donations again at the Gonzalez Street location in Pensacola, but also pointed out that it is too soon to tell when they would be able to resume distribution of food. Flounlacker hopes that will resume in 6 to 8 weeks.

Among the staff, volunteers and board members who came out to see the check presentation Monday morning was Jay Bradshaw, Chairman of Manna's Board of Directors. He said the board is committed to finding a new location for Manna, but the time table depends on many factors including their insurance settlement.

Manna is accepting cash donations page their our web site. To access that page, click HERE.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.