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Midwest City Beacon holding holiday food drive

Donations accepted at newspaper office and Sooner State Bank

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

The Midwest City Beacon staff is asking for support for its sixth annual holiday food drive. During the next couple weeks, the newspaper staff will be collecting non-perishable food donations to benefit the Mid-Del Food Pantry.

Donations will be accepted at the Midwest City Beacon office, 1500 S. Midwest Blvd., Ste. 202 (Second floor of BOK building on the northeast corner of Midwest and SE 15th) and Sooner State Bank, 8001 NE 23rd St. in Spencer and 10100 SE 15th St. in Midwest City. The newspaper and bank offices are open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
This is the fourth year that Sooner State Bank has partnered with the newspaper on the project.

Donations will be accepted until noon on Friday, Dec. 18. The newspaper employees will then deliver the food to the pantry.
Last year, the holiday food drive collected more than 400 pounds of food that provided 319 meals to families in eastern Oklahoma County. The Mid-Del Food Pantry helps fight hunger in eastern Oklahoma County including Midwest City, Del City and Choctaw.

Mid-Del Food Pantry Director Mike Anderson said they have seen a decline in donations from community groups this year, largely due to the coronavirus.

“The grocery stores have been pretty good about donations, but we’ve had fewer school drives and some of the others have been smaller than they usually are,” Anderson said.
The Mid-Del Food Pantry has continued to serve the community despite the pandemic. Anderson said they have implemented strict safety precautions to protect volunteers and clients.

“We’re still serving people and keeping our volunteers safe,” he said.

All non-perishable food donations will be accepted. Anderson said the most needed items include: peanut butter, jelly, packaged meals such as Hamburger Helper, and canned vegetables and soups.

Anderson said the pantry serves a diverse group of people, including many single mothers and older adults who are raising grandchildren or great grandchildren.

“We have some people with medical issues, and we see a lot of grandparents and great grandparents that have custody of their grandchildren and great grandchildren,” Anderson said. “A lot of them are on fixed incomes so they’re at their wits end trying to take care of the kids. It’s not just people who aren’t working. There are a lot of reasons why people need assistance.”
Staff at the Food Pantry screen all visitors and check income levels. All clients must provide identification, proof of residence in eastern Oklahoma County and verify the number of people in the household. People can only visit the food pantry once every 30 days.

“We try to not let anyone go away hungry and sometimes that’s pretty difficult,” Anderson said.

The Mid-Del Food Pantry was formed in 1984 by a local ministerial alliance. The pantry is a 501c3 organization and is funded entirely by donations. It is an independent organization but is supported by many churches, civic groups and individuals.

The Mid-Del Food Pantry, 322 N. Midwest Blvd., is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

For more information about the Midwest City Beacon Food Drive call (405) 455-1110 or email mwcbeacon@yahoo.com

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