Spotlight on Charity: Mandarin Food Bank

The Mandarin Food Bank opened in April, 1991 with a stated mission to provide emergency food and clothing to those in need in our community. The families that we serve come to us from area churches, clubs, schools, and by word of mouth. They are not usually homeless, but may be one paycheck away from being so. Single parents are the largest group of clients, followed by single elderly adults on a fixed income. While the main purpose is to provide food and clothing, we also focus on helping our clients with appropriate referrals to rent and utility assistance and other needed services. We feel that education is an important aspect of our assistance.

This past year, the Mandarin Food bank served over 6,000 families, representing 22,000 individuals (more than double the individuals we served in 2004!). In addition, last Thanksgiving and Christmas, 876 holiday baskets were distributed, representing 3,191 individuals. Each basket included a turkey and trimmings, fresh produce, as well as non-perishable food to prepare a traditional holiday family meal.

The Food Bank is open to serve clients Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 to 11:30 A.M. After hours and on Saturdays, our volunteers receive, pick up, re-stock our shelves and clean. We are an organization made up entirely of volunteers, headed by our co-directors, Mrs. Bonnie McNulty and Mrs. Mary Kaminski, who founded the food bank over 20 years ago. We currently have close to 150 wonderful, hardworking people who help us carry out our mission.

But even with all the wonderful help of our small army of volunteers, we could not serve our clients were it not for the strong commitment of the community, civic groups, schools, churches, businesses, and caring individuals like the ladies of the Deercreek Women’s Alliance. They provide the much needed support in the way of food and clothing drives, as well as cash, which is used to buy milk, meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables and other perishable items.

The Mandarin Food Bank is extremely grateful for the generosity of the Deercreek Women’s Alliance this year, and hope we can continue to count on your support in the future.

For information on the Mandarin Food Bank and how you can help, please call Carmen Kelly at 610-9789.