MUST Ministries feeds thousands of hungry children with lunch program
by Rebecca Johnston
August 15, 2013 10:16 PM | 2861 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thousands of children in Cherokee County depended on MUST Ministries for a lunch during the summer break, delivered each weekday by volunteers. <br> Special to the Tribune
Thousands of children in Cherokee County depended on MUST Ministries for a lunch during the summer break, delivered each weekday by volunteers.
Special to the Tribune
slideshow
Volunteers with MUST Ministries serve up record number of summer lunches.
Volunteers with MUST Ministries serve up record number of summer lunches.
slideshow
MUST had an appreciation event Monday night near Canton to honor Summer Lunch volunteers and staff. Toni McAlister, left, is the Cherokee summer lunch coordinator and Paula Rigsby is the seasonal program manager.
MUST had an appreciation event Monday night near Canton to honor Summer Lunch volunteers and staff. Toni McAlister, left, is the Cherokee summer lunch coordinator and Paula Rigsby is the seasonal program manager.
slideshow
For thousands of Cherokee County children this summer, the MUST Ministries Summer Lunch program provided a daily meal and kept them from going hungry while school was out.

In Cherokee County, volunteers with the organization delivered 67,549 sack lunches, almost 16,000 more than the 51,388 served in 2012 in the community.

MUST helps about 11,000 people in Cherokee each year, almost half of whom are children. The number makes up 60 percent of those in need in this county, data from MUST showed.

“This is an amazing accomplishment for the Summer Lunch 2013 team,” said Kelley Henderson, vice president and chief programs officer. “Not only did they meet the hunger needs of more than 6,000 children across eight counties, they worked together to our little neighbors in need. This monumental effort showcases MUST’s continued commitment to working with local community partners in service across North Georgia.”

The organization conducted an appreciation event Monday night at New Life Church near Canton for those who helped with the MUST Ministries Summer Lunch.

Cherokee County had four distribution sites this year and each of those was supported by three or four additional congregations and other groups. The four distribution sites were New Life Church, Mt. View United Methodist Church, Heritage Baptist Church and Sixes United Methodist Church.

In the eight counties served by MUST, almost a quarter of a million sack lunches reached hungry children during the summer months. MUST Ministries has coordinated the program for 18 years and this year saw a 31 percent increase in lunches as the final tally soared to 247,087, a release said.

“A special thank you to our partners, volunteers, benefactors, sandwich makers, bag decorators, checkers and packers, drivers, PB&J mixers, cold cut stackers, and of course our outstanding team of staff,” Henderson said. With numerous groups and organizations involved in making this happen, the list is too long to innumerate, he said, “but we are grateful to churches, civic clubs, sports teams, scout troops, families, businesses and individuals who all pitched in to make this happen.

Henderson estimated a 58 percent increase over the last four years as MUST has gone from serving Cobb and Cherokee counties to reaching Bartow, Douglas, Gwinnett, North Fulton, Paulding and Pickens as well.

“It’s remarkable what a community can do when they all work together on one cause. We are pleased to help lead this crusade to serve children in need in our area,” Henderson said.

Some of the many groups, businesses and organizations that helped make Summer Lunch Cherokee 2013 a success include:

Businesses:

Savvy Paws

Williams Orthodontics

Walgreens

Big Peach Running Co.

Bread Beckers

Keller Williams

Good Year

Sushi Spot

Cherokee Dodge

Aon Hewitt

Liberty Mutual

Kohls

Chase

MEYN LLC

Target

Downtown Kitchen

Flowers Bread Store

Tilt Marketing

Action Electrical

Horizon Construction

The Longino Law Firm

Wal-Mart

Northside Pharmacy

Bimbo Bakeries

Churches and Synagogues:

North River Church of Christ

New Life - host site

Awakening Church

Canton First Baptist Church

Northbrooke United Methodist Church

Allatoona Latter Day Saints

Little River United Methodist Church

Union Hill United Methodist Church

Orange United Methodist Church

Hillside United Methodist Church

Antioch Christian Church

Fields Chapel United Methodist Church

St. Elizabeth

Noonday Baptist

St. Andrews United Methodist Church

First Baptist Woodstock

Mt. Gilead UMC

Hickory Flat UMC

St. Clements Episcopal

Canton First United Methodist Church

St. Paul

Faith Presbyterian

Burnt Hickory Baptist

Watermark

North point Ministries

Woodstock United Methodist Church

New Victoria Baptist

Bascomb United Methodist Church

Heritage Baptist Fellowship-host site

Mountain View United Methodist Church -host site

Birmingham United Methodist Church

Buffington Baptist

City on a Hill United Methodist Church

Cumming First United Methodist Church

Our Lady of La Salette

Sutallee Baptist

Waleska First Baptist

Woodstock Church of the Nazarene

Several LDS Congregations

God’s Garden

Sixes United Methodist Church —host site

Eastminister Presbyterian

Chestnut Ridge Christian Church

Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church

Johnson Ferry Baptist Church

Transfiguration Catholic Church

Ray Thomas Presbyterian

Mt. Zion United Methodist Church

Holy Trinity Lutheran

Congregation Beth Hallel

Stonebridge Church

Civic Organizations:

Boy Scouts

Girls Scouts

Cub Scouts

Canton Rotary Club

Woodstock Rotary Club

Bridgemill Sixes Service League

Pilot Club of Cherokee County

Schools:

Hasty Elementary

Reinhardt College

Kennesaw Charter School

Other:

Woodstock Cheer

YMCA Youth Leadership

Etowah Eagle Cheerleaders

Cherokee Crushers

Woodstock Softball

Etowah Jr. Cheerleaders

Brookfield Country Club

Woodstock Mom’s Group

River Green Community

DFACS

Family Violence Center

Soleil Community Subdivision

Breckenridge Subdivision

North Hampton Subdivision



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