invisible hit counter
Group collects surplus bread to feed the hungry
Driving on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard toward the heart of Brunswick, the signs of hunger become evident.

Most every day, some 200 men and women line up outside Manna House at 1408 G St. starting in the morning.

They are there because they are hungry. They're there for a free hot meal that's usually ready for the plate at lunchtime.

Ross Smith, a member of First United Methodist Church in Brunswick, his wife Penny and friend Jack McConnell know about hunger.

The three pick up surplus bread and other related items every Friday and take it to Manna House.

"We've been doing this for years," Ross Smith said. "We went and asked if Publix had any surplus, and they give to groups every day."

Since Manna House purchases and prepares all the food its volunteers serve, anything free is eagerly welcomed and accepted. It allows the nonprofit to stretch its dollars and buy more food.

"What we pick up directly affects our bottom line. Then we take what's left to Safe Harbor and Amity House," Smith said.

"It takes money to support these programs, and they directly affect our community. You can see it."

Distributing the bread and dessert items to Manna House is not only about saving money. The need is great in the community, McConnell said.

There are days when it seems the men and women who volunteer daily to work in the kitchen and cook the meals can't get it on the tables fast enough.

Hunger knows no clock or time of day.

"You can tell when they come here early and wait," McConnell said. "With the economy the way it's been... it always seems like there's not enough here."

Volunteers do it because they want to help.

Giving back to others and taking care of the community is what has Smith, his wife and McConnell busy every Friday.

"Our ministry, we don't need for anything, but Manna House can always use our support," Smith said. "We're always wanting to care and to serve."

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