The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 4, 2012

Caring and sharing: Holiday meal boxes distributed by organizations to 160 families in need

By James Neal, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A line of people in need wrapped around the Loaves and Fishes food pantry Tuesday evening, waiting to receive Holiday Care and Share food boxes.

The holiday meal boxes were provided through donations of food from Mustang Fuel Corp., Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma and Loaves and Fishes. Regional Food Bank identified 160 families in need to receive the boxes, which were an additional service to the regular food pantry hours at Loaves and Fishes.

Mustang Fuel provided the ham, sausage and chicken for the 160 holiday meals.

Ron Mayfield, who works in Mustang Fuel’s Enid office, said the company has helped provide food for the Holiday Care and Share program for three years.

“We just felt like it was a good way for us to give back to the community in the areas where we work,” Mayfield said.

He said he enjoys the opportunity to help those in need.

“It’s a good feeling to be able to provide people in need with a good meal, and just to be able to help,” he said.

Roxanne Pollard, a volunteer and treasurer at Loaves and Fishes, said the holiday meal packages would not have been possible without the help of Mustang Fuel.

“When you see the people lined up waiting to get the food, it makes it all very much worthwhile,” she said. “And, we count on the help we receive from sponsors to be able to do this.”

Several dozen volunteers came out Tuesday evening to help unpack, sort and distribute pallets of food, which were delivered from the Regional Food Bank as recipients were lining up for their packages.

Laura Hatchel, president of Junior Welfare League of Enid, said JWL volunteers knew they wanted to help Loaves and Fishes when they first toured the facility about two months ago, before the food pantry opened for operations.

“When we first came to tour the facility, we were so impressed, we wanted to come back and make a difference in another way than just a monetary donation,” Hatchel said.

She said the long line of families waiting to receive the food packages demonstrated the level of need in Enid.

“It’s incredible, and it definitely shows there is a need in Enid. There is hunger out there, and it’s awesome we can make a difference, especially during the holidays. It warms your heart.”

Loaves and Fishes Executive Director Linda Franklin said the generosity of Mustang Fuel and local volunteers helps “bring more dignity” to holiday celebrations for families in need.

“When someone is in a situation of financial and physical plight, this really helps make their holidays much brighter,” Franklin said.

Shae Cagle, who was in line waiting for a food package, said the food will help her family get through the holidays.

“This is a great blessing,” Cagle said. “I am so thankful that they are blessing our family like this, because times are hard. It’s incredible that all these people came out and are taking their time to help people who need it.”

Jennifer Kisling, volunteer coordinator at Loaves and Fishes, said the need for volunteers goes beyond special events and the holidays.

“If someone is interested in volunteering any time, we would love to have them,” she said. “There is a need five days a week and every third Saturday. We need 20 to 22 volunteers each day to do everything we need just to keep the doors open.”

Kisling said anyone interested in volunteering can contact Loaves and Fishes at (580) 540-9830 or go to the Loaves and Fishes page on Facebook.