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Time To Fill The Mayflower For Manna

Bob Barrett

  The Annual Fill The Mayflower for Manna Food Drive is underway at the Cordova Mall in Pensacola.  De De Flounlacker, the Executive Director of Manna Food Pantries says this is Manna's biggest food drive of the year, and the non-perishable food items being collected now have to last through the spring.

Flounlacker says seven years ago Manna was approached by the Bradshaws at Coastal Moving and Storage in Pensacola about using one of their Mayflower trucks during Thanksgiving week for a food drive. She notes that over the years many people have come together to make the drive a success saying "It really does take a village" to feed people in need.

On Monday morning, the Episcopal Day School in Pensacola is part of that village. Kim Stafford, the Associate Head of the School was also at the mall Monday morning with some of the her students.  She says the school got involved in the food drive in a big way last week by holding a food drive on Friday.
Stafford says the students collected a total of about 22 hundred pounds of food for the drive.

It's been a difficult year for Manna Food Pantries as their headquarters were destroyed during April's floods. De De Flounlacker says their inventory, which "went from about 100,000 pounds of food on the shelves to zero" is still recovering. And even though this drive happens in the holiday season, Manna is not looking for holiday treats like candy or cookies and cakes. Floulacker says it's the basic staples that many of us take fo granted that are in the most demand: peanut butter, canned meats and fish, canned vegetables and fruit, cereal, rice, grits and other household staples. She says they are also accepting cash donations.

The Fill The Mayflower for Manna continues Monday at the Cordova Mall in Pensacola until 7 p.m. Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Wednesday from 7 a.m. until Noon.

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.