With demand growing for the Columbia County Cares food pantry, director Lou Reda is hoping the public will come out to support the food bank at its annual spaghetti dinner Thursday.
"We feed quite a few peoplewReda said.
Last year, the food pantry's largest fundraiser garnered $7,000 to support families in need. He expects to feed several hundred people at the dinner.
From 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., food pantry volunteers will serve spaghetti at Marvin United Methodist Church on Wheeler Road at Belair Road. Plates will be served in the gymnasium and takeout plates will be available.
Tickets cost $5 per person or $20 total for groups of four or more, and are on sale at the food pantry and at churches throughout Columbia County.
Reda said proceeds from the spaghetti dinner will go toward purchasing food, mostly from Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta. The food pantry, which opened in 1997, relies on private donations, area churches and private organizations to provide temporary assistance to low-income families and seniors.
The number of families turning to the ecumenical, nonprofit agency each month is growing. Reda said the food pantry provided a week's worth of groceries to an average of 300 families a month in 2005. Through July, Reda said, the food pantry assisted an average of 350 families per month.
"In August, we had a record month - 454 families and 1,344 people," Reda said.
Reda said public assistance is essential to support the food pantry's annual $55,000 budget.
The food pantry accepts monetary and food donations and volunteers, Reda said.
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