Marietta-based MUST Ministries serves people in the community with its food pantry, clothing closet, financial assistance, translation assistance, housing and seasonal programming, such as the summer lunch program for children and the Christmas toyshop.
Program Director Kendall Jones said July was the busiest month of the year and the organization gave away 17,000 pounds of food.
“We’re blessed to receive donations from area churches, schools and Boy Scouts troops, but they often take off during the summer. And even if they do collect items for us, it’s usually lower in the summer because people are away on vacation,” Jones said.
The pantry needs donations of canned food that is high in protein such as canned tuna, chicken and other meats, peanut butter and beans. Canned fruits, along with different vegetables other than corn and green beans, are also requested. The pantry is also in need of size four to six diapers.
Jones said the best way people can help is to drop off the donations.
“As they shop the buy one, get one free deals or other sales, it really will help us. While we always welcome monetary donations and gift cards, we only have four staff members here and having to go out and shop takes us away from helping people that come in,” Jones said. “So the best way is to bring the food in so it can get right on the shelf, into a box and given to a client.”
MUST Cherokee was created in May 1988 as a food pantry in the basement of Canton United Methodist Church, which at the time was in the brick building that now houses the Cherokee Arts Center.
Two years ago, the ministry moved to an empty building on Brown Industrial Parkway in Canton in order to better serve more people.
Food donations can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Cherokee location, 111 Brown Industrial Parkway.
Jones said another way people can get involved is to sign up for the MUST Ministries annual golf tournament fundraiser to be held on Sept. 8 at 8 a.m. at the Bradshaw Farms golf course.
Those interested in playing can register at www.mustministries.org/Golf.