The Mayflower truck is loaded with tons of food after collecting donations for the past several days. The moving truck, parked outside Cordova Mall, pulled out this afternoon when the drive ended at noon.
The Fill the Mayflower campaign is Manna Food Pantries biggest fundraiser of the year. Each year, it’s held the week of Thanksgiving. This week they collected $20,000 in monetary donations and enough food to provide 70,335 meals a day for sixty percent of the clients Manna sees in a year.
The food will be distributed through MANNA’s four pantries, the Santa Rosa Backpack4Teens Program and Senior Hunger Program in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Bill Kellenberger, of Pensacola, brought his bag of canned and baking goods just as the doors of the truck were closing.
“When I read about this food drive, I wanted to donate for the people who need it,” said Kellenberger. “At the store, I bought things I thought people would need. It makes you feel good.”
Manna Food Pantries saw 33,000 people last year. They serve people along the Gulf Coast who are either homeless or living paycheck to paycheck. Charities, schools, local businesses and hundreds of people donated time, food, and money to help “Fill the Mayflower.”
Manna board member and owner of Coastal Moving and Storage, Jay Bradshaw has helped spearhead this fundraiser for the past seven years.
“This is not about Coastal Moving and Storage or any one business,” said Bradshaw. “This is about our community coming out to fill a need at Manna Food Pantries.”
Last year, Manna Food Pantries distributed 600,000 pounds of food to the hungry. The non-profit has been serving the community since 1983.