By Traci Chapman
It can be the happiest time of the year, as the holidays bring with them family and faith, food and gifts. But for some, that’s not the case, whether it’s isolation and loneliness, the loss of a job, financial problems or family pressures.
That’s why the holidays can be such a challenge for so many – and that’s why Mustang Kiwanis and the Mustang Times team up to ensure everyone who needs a holiday meal and even just an everyday helping hand gets it.
With the novel coronavirus pandemic and resulting financial and other issues resulting from it continuing, at least to some extent, it’s more important than ever this year for the Kiwanis-Times effort to succeed, officials say. The end of December and early January can also present an additional hurdle for some families who rely on school meals to help supplement their food budget – meals that aren’t available during the winter school break.
Every year the numbers of those in need increase, Kiwanis officials say – and although the numbers might not skyrocket sharply, those who must turn to the nonprofit’s pantry for help. That’s why efforts like the Times food drive is so important, Kiwanis President Luke Ellis says – because it’s not easy to anticipate when more people might look for a light in the dark.
“It truly can mean the difference for some people whether they’ll have food on the table – or, at Thanksgiving or Christmas, whether they’ll be able to have a special holiday meal,” he says.
With COVID-19 creating havoc with the economy, some of those who have reached out for assistance – not just from Kiwanis but also other area nonprofits – has also changed in ways. It’s said
many people are a mere few paychecks from potential financial hardship.
Over time, several more senior citizens have also come to rely on the Kiwanis food pantry, both throughout the year and for holiday meals, Ellis says.
Financial donations are always appreciated but it’s also the little things – a few things from someone’s pantry, for example – that can make a big difference. Any nonperishable items are always appreciated, and things like boxed mashed potatoes, sugar, canned vegetables, tuna, peanut butter, canned meats, boxed pastas, macaroni and cheese, soups, baby food, canned fruit, cereal, cookies and fruit snacks are always popular.
The Times food drive will be held through Dec. 20, and items may be dropped off at our office, located at 547 N. Mustang Road – across the street from Mustang post office. Mustang Kiwanis
Community Food Bank is located in the back of the Old Fire Station, located at 470 W. state Highway 152. All donations are tax deductible.
If you can, please consider donating to this worthwhile effort and help share the holiday spirit with area families and seniors this Christmas.