Volunteers at the Columbia County Cares food pantry are hoping their annual spaghetti dinner Thursday will help them prepare for a busy fall and winter.
The dinner is the pantry's largest fundraiser each year and helps replenish its supplies heading into the busy holiday season, said Lou Reda, the director of the nonprofit ecumenical charity.
From 4:30 until 7:30 p.m., pantry volunteers will serve spaghetti at Marvin United Methodist Church on Wheeler Road at Belair Road.
Meals cost $5 each, or $20 for a family of four or more. Tickets are available at the door or from the pantry in Appling.
Diners can eat in or take their meals home.
Last year, the dinner raised more than $5,000.
"We need it this year," Reda said. "The demand is up as it has been," while the supply is only adequate for current needs.
The pantry provides about a week's worth of groceries to an average of 400 needy families in Columbia County each month. The pantry served more than 500 families in August and expects to serve between 420 to 440 per month through the fall and winter.
The pantry also is accepting monetary donations and nonperishable food items, including peanut butter, jelly, crackers and tea bags.
"We have some shortages ourselves," Reda said. The shelves of Golden Harvest Food Bank, where the pantry gets much of its food stores, also are low on goods. "Some of the things we would have normally have given out, we're not giving out or having a hard time getting."
The organization is looking for volunteers to help operate the pantry, which is at 1959 Appling Harlem Highway in Appling. The pantry is open from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
For information or tickets or to volunteer, call the pantry at (706) 541-2834.
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