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Manna Food Pantries Gets $100,000 Gift From Sansing Auto Group

Bob Barrett

Christmas came a week early for Manna Food Pantries this year as a well known family made a six figure gift to the non-profit.

Sandy Sansing, along with members of his family and auto dealerships delivered a big end of the year gift to Manna Food Pantries Wednesday afternoon. A check for $100,000.

Jay Bradshaw, the president of Manna's Board of Directors represented the board at the check presentation. He called it the largest gift to Manna since he has been on the board and "one of the largest the pantry has seen in the history of the pantry".

Sandy Sansing said it was conversations with Bradshaw and others that convinced the family that Manna Food Pantries was the right organization to receive this gift. He said learning about the hunger crisis that exists in Pensacola touched their hearts, especially the number of children affected. Sansing also said that Manna had lost so much in the flood that this was a good time to rebuild their food inventory and help feed the hungry.

As you might expect, De De Flounlacker, the Executive Director of Manna Food Pantries was quite happy about the gift, which she said came together in just the last few days.

Credit Bob Barrett / WUWF News
De De Flounlacker, Executive Director of Manna Food Pantries talks to Sandy Sansing during Wednesday's check presentation at the Manna warehouse in Pensacola.

It's been a roller coaster year for Manna Food Pantries, which lost almost all of its food inventory in the flood in April and were shut down for two and a half months. Manna's offices have been operating out of construction trailers for the last half of the year, and one of their warehouses is still usable. In October purchased land from the Escambia County School District for a new, permanent location. Flounlacker, who said she didn't know the amount of the gift until the big check came out, says looking ahead 12 months "I would love to think that (next year) we'd be standing in a new facility, but I think that's going to take a little bit of time."

Today's gift from the Sansing Auto Family could go a long way towards securing Manna Food Bank's future.

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.