People have many different reasons for volunteering: Some need to fulfill service learning hours for school, some are looking for a way to make a positive difference, some are just looking for something new to do with their free time. Even though volunteers have their own reasons for participating, the hope is they leave with the same sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and goodwill that is a result of directly serving others. One of the most impactful, and most requested, volunteer projects HOTC coordinates is the Manna Drop, a free food distribution to help feed our neighbors in need.
The call to action to fight hunger is not new. We have all heard the statistics, and they are startling. According to nokidhungry.org, “More than 700,000 children in Georgia are at risk of hunger.” But numbers don’t have faces. Numbers don’t have names, and most of us don’t consider that these numbers represent our very own neighbors. They do, and hunger is, unfortunately, an issue here in Thomas County.
In partnership with America’s Second Harvest of South Georgia, HOTC and local volunteers are working to address this problem in our community through Manna Drops. A single Manna Drop feeds approximately 600 people or 200 families right here in Thomas County. The people that Manna Drops feed have faces you recognize, the families have names you know.
Although the results of a Manna Drop are priceless, like many things, these necessary food distributions do come with a cost. A single Manna Drop can start at $500 per occurrence which is offset by donations. Our goal at HOTC is to provide as many Manna Drops as possible each year with the dual purpose, to not only address the issue of hunger, but to also offer volunteers, many of them kids just beginning to learn the value of community service, a meaningful way to give back.