Continuing Maggard’s good work

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Messenger photos by Jeff Pfeil
During a recent food distribution day at the Good Samaritan Food Pantry in West Jefferson, volunteer Gary Smith mans a produce station offering potatoes, apples, plums, green beans and more.

(Posted Dec. 13, 2018)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

It’s that time of year when people are especially thankful for family and friends. The volunteers at Good Samaritan Food Pantry in West Jefferson are especially thankful for the late Susan Maggard.

Maggard ran the food pantry, housed at West Jefferson United Methodist Church, for more than 20 years, making sure there was enough food for residents and enough volunteers to distribute the food.

Maggard, who passed away this past summer, was the face of the pantry, according to board member Linda Collins. Long-time volunteer Bob Pearce stepped in as acting director to keep the pantry operating as seamlessly as possible.

Earlier this year, Maggard submitted a grant application to the United Way of Clark, Champaign and Madison Counties for funding, specifically for nutritious food for senior citizens and children. The application was successful. The pantry now has $4,000 to spend on food for those clientele.

Board member Matt Modlich said the plan is to purchase items like nutrition drinks for senior citizens, including drinks formulated for those with diabetes, and healthy snacks, like protein bars and trail mix, for children.

“It was an area we were lacking in, and those types of items are expensive,” Modlich said. “We’re on a limited budget… The grant really helps.”

Run by volunteers, the non-profit organization assists residents of West Jefferson and Galloway with emergency food provisions, helping thousands of individuals and serving tens of thousands of meals each year, including a Thanksgiving outreach.

Regular distribution days are Wednesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 to 11 a.m. This year’s Thanksgiving distribution took place on Nov. 20.

Pantry volunteers set up for a recent food distribution day.

During this year’s Thanksgiving outreach, Sharon Garver, the Wednesday coordinator, announced that the giveaway would henceforth be known as the Susan Maggard Thanksgiving Dinner Basket Project.

The announcement came in front of 130 client families who had gathered to get their Thanksgiving dinner. They and the volunteers who were ready to hand out food broke out into applause.

Included in that group was Anna Megahey who not only helps to distribute food but is also a food pantry client. She and her husband have five children ranging in age from 6 to 17 years old.

“I come here for food when the need arises,” she said, noting she usually gets cereal, bread and meat. She said she volunteers as a way to give back to the pantry.

The pantry is always looking for volunteers to fill food boxes, register clients and retrieve donations. The organization also welcomes donations of food and money. More information can be found online at www.goodsamfp.com.

The Methodist Church, the food pantry’s home, is located at 36 S. Center St. Email goodsamfp.1995@gmail.com or call (614) 379-3212 for more information.

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