Samaritans Prepare for Food Distribution
Marlow Samaritans Christmas Food
Distribution set for Saturday, Dec. 19th
The annual Samaritan Christmas Food Box distribution will be held this Saturday, Dec. 19th, beginning around 9:30 a.m. at the First Baptist Church Life Center. Families who signed up are encouraged to line up in their cars on 4th Street, heading south while Marlow’s volunteer Firemen will assist in directing cars.
“It’s very important for our community of volunteers to know that concerns for the coronavirus have required a few changes to our schedule,” said Cricket Holland, Samaritan volunteer, “and brought about the need for a few new rules as we prepare to distribute the Christmas food boxes to families who previously signed up before our deadline on Dec. 4th.
“The community has always been so helpful getting the boxes prepared early on the Saturday morning of distribution so to ensure the safety of folks who help this year, we are limiting our volunteers to 10-12 in the Life Center at a time.
The current plan is to begin working around 2 p.m. on Wednesday (16th) to get everything set up and in place by that evening. On Thursday (17th), the food will go onto tables to be sorted and counted. Then on Friday (18th), the filling of boxes will begin so that hopefully distribution can start earlier than planned on Saturday morning (19th).
Mr. Bryan Brantley, MHS principal, will allow students to rotate in and out of the life center on Thursday and Friday to help place, sort and count food items that will be in the boxes. With over 280 signed up, the task will be tremendous to accomplish before Saturday’s giveaway.
The reasoning behind getting the work completed earlier than usual is to keep the number of folks down to a minimal on Saturday. Usually up towards 100 volunteers can be found inside the life center who are not only helping get the boxes ready, but also carrying them to the cars and even delivering to those who can’t physically pickup their boxes.
During these work days, all volunteers will be required to wear a mask and gloves, which will be furnished by the Samaritans, while they work on each of the days preparation requires. The goal of the organization is to get the boxes filled while also protecting those willing to help.
“We are so thankful for all of our volunteers! The students who come are eager to help and diligently work to get everything done. Truly would be an impossible task without the cooperation of our school administrators, teachers, students and community volunteers,” Holland said. “We are blessed to live in a place where people want to help others.”
Along with the school campuses contribution of almost 10,000 canned items, local businesses have also supplied an enormous infusion of food.
“For numerous years now, our local businesses have supplied nutritious items; such as, the 1,000+ boxes of cereal First National Bank in Marlow provides, the baking hens furnished through BancFirst and Cable Meat & Food Service whose truck also keeps all the frozen foods frozen,” she continued.
“There are other companies who have also provided financial help to the Marlow Samaritans for the Christmas boxes plus personal donations are at an all-time high. There’s no reason for anyone to go hungry this month,” she added.
Carolyn Lowe, who is the food distribution manager for the Samaritans, said the need during 2020 has increased greatly with so many families needing extra help.
“During the current year, with the virus and job loss, we have signed up over 170 new families to our local food bank list,” said Lowe. “We are so thankful to be able to help these families who find themselves in difficult situations because of the virus, job loss or other situations that caused the need. Being a partner with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma helps us purchase other much needed food items at lower prices which has enabled us to provide about 45 meals to each family during our monthly distributions.”
Mrs. Lowe also said, “For anyone on the monthly food bank distribution list who failed to sign up for this December event, the next food distribution will be on Jan. 12th and Jan. 26th. Please call 658-5771 for more information.”
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