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story.lead_photo.caption Marc Hayot/Herald-Leader Meal bags, like this one, are distributed to families in need so they will be able to have a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal.

The Manna Center of Siloam Springs began its annual One Bag Drive for families in need on Nov. 4.

One Bag Drive is a program designed to help families in need by providing items to make Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, according to Marla Sappington, operations manager for the nonprofit.

During the drive, paper bags with shopping lists for food items are given to area businesses and churches. Those businesses and churches will either make a donation to the Manna Center or send one of their staff to shop for the items on the list, she said. Organizations also have the opportunity to enclose a $10 check to buy a turkey, according to Sappington. The bags contain items such as stuffing, mashed potatoes and yams.

"Last year we gave out 600 bags," Sappington said.

The Manna Center began pre-certifying families for the bags on Nov. 4. The process lasts until Nov. 19, she said. Families who wish to receive a bag need to go to the Manna Center, take a valid photo identification and proof of residence, Sappington said. Bags will be distributed on Nov. 20.

After Thanksgiving, the staff will begin the pre-certification process again for families that need help for Christmas dinner Sappington said. Along with helping families with food for the holidays, The Manna Center also has a program that helps provide Christmas toys for children.

"We helped over 100 kids with toys last year," Sappington said.

Both Brooker and Sappington want the community to know The Manna Center is about more than just giving away a bag of food. The center has resources for different programs available to help families in need, according to the executive team for the organization.

Next year the center will have a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Initiative to help families struggling with a lack of food fill out the paperwork needed to get SNAP benefit.

For more information about the One Bag Drive, call The Manna Center at 479-524-9825, or visit their campus at 670 Heritage Court.

General News on 11/06/2019

Print Headline: Manna Center's One Bag Drive returns

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