The nonprofit organization, which helps families in emergency need, is also gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday, one of MUST’s busiest times of the year.
“We literally were down to just three days of food at one point last week,” said Kaye Cagle, director of marketing and public relations, of the empty shelves at the agency.
“We have had such a huge demand over the summer, and we received less donations, demand was up and supply was down,” she said.
The agency distributes about 2,500 cans of food a week, a total of about 2,000 pounds. Last year MUST served 22,000 people who turned to the agency for food. Those were known as “unduplicated” clients, Cagle said.
“Many of the schools, churches and clubs who help us all year long are not able to contribute as much during the summer, and now we are facing the fall with diminished supplies,” Cagle said.
Right now the agency is in dire need of canned meats such as tuna and chicken, boxed dinners, canned beef stew, canned beans, powdered milk and canned fruits.
The organization also needs dried beans and dried potatoes, spaghetti sauce and noodles, and breakfast items such as oatmeal and grits.
Another need is peanut butter and especially jelly, Cagle said.
“We are always out of jelly. We give bread away every day and we like to give anyone who needs it the peanut butter and jelly so they can have a meal,” she said.
For 15 years, MUST Ministries in Cherokee County has been distributing boxes of Thanksgiving dinner items to around 1,000 families annually.
MUST is collecting items to fill the boxes this holiday and needs the community to help with frozen turkeys, cans of corn, green beans, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, boxes of mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cornbread mix and stuffing.
They will also need jars of gravy or packages of gravy mix, frozen pies and grocery store gift cards for other food purchases.
Non-perishable items can be brought to the MUST office at 141-B Marietta Road in Canton Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Frozen items for Thanksgiving will be accepted Nov. 19-21, from 8 to 9 a.m.
With the help of the Air Force ROTC, baskets will be distributed Nov. 19-21 to families who preregister through MUST.
The MUST Donation Center is located at 1210-B Kennestone Circle in Marietta and is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The donation center acts as a distribution point for all of the MUST Day Services, the Emergency Shelter and other housing facilities, as well as the MUST Administration.
The MUST Donation Center accepts donations of food, clothing and household items.
Other offices include Marietta MUST at 1407 Cobb Parkway North and the Smyrna office at 460 Pat Mell Road. For more information go to www.mustministries.org.