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Stock the Market- VFW donates $200 to Millington Food Pantry

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

VFW representatives present Food Pantry’s Pam Villarreal with a check for $200.

The MillingtonVFW Post 7175 has a reputation for taking on community causes and coming to the aid of those in need.

Normally the organization’s deeds go toward helping veterans ranging from hospital visits to building ramps. But over the years in Flag City, the VFW has reached out to give back to the community with donations to Fill the Truck and scholarships for local students.

The latest effort by the VFW to help Millington came on Oct. 6. Along with the Military Order Cooties Auxiliary No. 26 and Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW, the organization raised $200 from a breakfast for the First United Methodist Church Millington Food Pantry.

“We decided we needed to do something as an organization for the community,” Ladies Auxiliary President Priscilla Tucker said. “We felt this had the greatest need. We brought it up in a meeting and it passed unamiously. We had a huge attendance of people to help us.

“The Post has helped the Methodist Church for the past number of years with the food drive and with the holiday baskets,” she continued. “So were going to continue to do this for the rest of the season and hopefully year around. We didn’t know how bad the need was. We didn’t have a clue.”

Once the VFW knew the problem, organizers quickly developed a concept to raise money to donate to the Pantry. Tucker and MOCA President Lila Roe made a visit to the Pantry located on the FUMC campus to see the bare shelves and lack of items in the refrigerator.

FUMC Food Pantry volunteer Pam Villarreal said the presence of the VFW and donation was much needed.

“It’s lifesaving,” she said. “The Pantry has been here for so long. We have food and then we don’t. The amount of people coming to the Pantry has increased. It has doubled in the last five years. And we really can’t keep up with the need in the community. And since it serves the whole community, we’re really proud that the community is giving to it.”

The Pantry serves all in the 38053 zip code and Northaven area. The Pantry needs food donations of all kinds especially canned meat, beans and soups.

Tucker said the lack of food makes evdient a harsh reality.

“It makes me sick to my stomach to know that they don’t have the food that they really need,” she said. “If these shelves are empty, they are not giving out the food they really need. How many kids are going to bed hungry? How many seniors are going to bed hungry. Nobody should ever go to bed hungry — especially in the United States.”

The VFW located at 4681 Cuba-Millington Road will maintain a busy schedule with traditional events and fund raisers. The organization’s next big event is the essay contest for high school studens with a Nov. 1 deadline that will reward scholarship.

Tucker said the annual food baskets will take place in December but in the meanwhile they will continue to work on filling those empty shelves.

“We don’t know what we would do without the help of the community,” Villarreal concluded. “We want to thank so much the VFW and Cooties for doing this. We can’t do it all by ourselves.”

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