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Food pantry drive raises $5,200 for three charities

The DAILY LEADER and the Bank of Brookhaven have successfullyconcluded the 2007 installment of the food pantry drive, in which$5,200 was raised for the distribution of food items to families inneed in the Brookhaven area.

Three checks of $1,733.33 were written to the BrookhavenOutreach Ministry, St. Francis of Assisi/St. Vincent DePaulMinistries and Union Hall Baptist Church. The money raised in 2007brings the four-year total of the food pantry drive to over $25,000that has been distributed to the food pantries of the threeministries.

“We are delighted to play a role in reaching out to those whoare less fortunate, especially during the Christmas season,” saidDAILY LEADER Publisher William Jacobs. “We hope we can help makesomeone’s Christmas a little more merry.”

Jacobs went on to point out the “giving spirit” of theBrookhaven area.

“None of this would be possible without the generous support ofour readers,” he said.

Bank of Brookhaven Senior Vice President Shannon Aker echoedJacobs’ comments.

“We have a lot of generous people in this area,” he said. “A lotof people have a lot of things going on around the holidays, butthey still stop and help out those in need. The food pantry driveis a great opportunity; it touches a lot of people.”

The Brookhaven area’s generosity was much appreciated by thethree ministries that received funds for their food pantries.

“This money will go a long way,” said Mark Nettles of St.Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. “We will ask the Lord to blessthis money the same way He blessed the loaves and the fish.”

The Rev. Jerry Durr of Brookhaven Outreach Ministries said thedonation came at the best possible time.

“October, November and December are our busiest months fordistributing food,” he said. “We assist around 450 families amonth, so this money is going to help us out a lot.”

Union Hall Baptist Church also participates in food distributionyear-round.

“We always try to keep food in our church so that when needypeople come in we’ll always have something for them,” said UnionHall’s Nancy Burns. “This donation is gratefully appreciated. Itwill be used as a blessing to someone who might not have had ablessing otherwise.”

The DAILY LEADER and the Bank of Brookhaven have been helping tospread those blessings since 2003, when the food pantry drive firstbegan. The two businesses have repeated the drive every year except2005, when Hurricane Katrina forced its cancellation. The drive for2007 officially began on Friday, Nov. 23, when the bank and thenewspaper deposited $200 each into the food pantry account.