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Group donates to food pantry
Standing in an almost fully stocked food pantry at the Salvation Army, the smile on Audrey Easterling's face is radiant.

Pointing to one wall of shelves, she explains how she purchased the food a short time ago to make sure some was available. Turning to the opposite wall and several shelves in front of it, she marvels at the good fortune they represent.

"It wasn't just a donation, it was a blessing," Easterling, a case manager, said of the 1,500 pounds of food donated by the Glynn Academy Players, a high school drama group.

With Thanksgiving barely three weeks away, the Salvation Army, 1624 Reynolds St., Brunswick, is prepared to help people through the holiday. Easterling is confident it will be able to satisfy needs, but she knows food can go out fast, so donations are always helpful.

Monetary donations help purchase USDA-approved food, but the process is a bit arduous, so donated food usually can be moved more quickly into the distribution stream.

"It won't take long for it to go, so though we are full now, we could always use the help," Easterling said.

At Sparrows Nest food bank, 2911 Altama Ave., Brunswick, shelves are a little more bare. The Rev. Wright Culpepper, executive director of FaithWorks, which operates Sparrows Nest, says donations are arriving slowly.

"Things are picking up a little bit. We had a strong end of spring into early summer that got us through the summer months, and then we went through a period of time where things were pretty lean," Culpepper said. "Now we're starting to get a couple of carloads coming in, but we're a long way from where we need to be."

Should no more donations be received, Culpepper says the food bank could operate about a week, at the most. With Thanksgiving on the way, more food is needed.

Thanksgiving is Nov. 28.

"It's always amazing because there are times we'll get down to one can of corn and say, 'Well, looks like we won't be serving anyone tomorrow.' And all of a sudden, a car or truck pulls up and it's enough to keep things going," he said. "But we'd like to stay ahead of the curve."

Several businesses are conducting food drives for Sparrows Nest, including Coastal Bank and Weaver Orthodontics, but more are needed, Culpepper said.

"We're always grateful for anyone who brings things in, but the drives usually allow us to build a cushion and help allow us to be more creative in what we give to people. Sometimes we get down to things like just peanut butter and SpaghettiOs," Culpepper said.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

How to help

Donations can be taken to the Salvation Army, 1624 Reynolds St., Brunswick. Call 265-9381 for hours. Donations can be taken to Sparrows Nest, 2911 Altama Ave., Brunswick, between 9 a.m. and noon Mondays through Thursdays. Sparrows Nest has equipment to accept fresh produce or frozen products.

St. Simons Health and Fitness Club's Karma Yoga group and The Grace Place will conduct a food drive for Sparrows Nest all day Nov. 16 at Winn-Dixie stores at 220 Retreat Village, St. Simons Island, and 5420 New Jesup Highway, Glynn County.

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