Donation provides hams to families

Published 8:02 pm Friday, March 29, 2013

BELHAVEN — An Easter donation will help feed some families for the next five months.

Food Lion donated 110 cases of hams to Martha’s Thrift Store and Food Pantry. Each case holds 12 canned hams.

Store manager John Cooper said front-end manager Cassandra Jennette and market manager Glenn Windley suggested making the Easter donation.

“It’s just to reach out to the community,” Cooper said.

The store regularly donates food to local food pantries.

“With the way that things are today, it’s important because we see all the time that people are in need. Our donation requests have already been heavy this year,” Cooper said.

Martha’s Thrift Store and Food Pantry is a faith-based organization operated by volunteers from seven area churches.

“He treats us very nicely,” said Robert Sawtell, food coordinator at Martha’s, of Cooper. “We certainly appreciate everything he does for us.”

The food pantry distributes food once a month. In the last delivery, each family received chicken, beef, pork, five pounds of flour, evaporated milk and a variety of canned goods.

Sawtell said the number of families Martha’s helps each month continues to rise. This month, 260 families, or more than 400 individuals, received groceries.

The need rises during holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. While donations usually rise in November and December, few organizations contribute for holidays like Easter.
The donation may have been made for Easter Sunday, but, Sawtell said, families would benefit from the donation long after the holiday.

“We’re going to stretch it out,” he said. “It’s outstanding. We can use all we can get.”

The food pantry expects at least 240 families will need a food delivery in April. At that rate, 110 cases will likely last for five months, Sawtell said.

Martha’s Thrift Store and Food Pantry is located at 857 W. Main St. For more information about the nonprofit organization, call 943-2124 or email