In Cherokee County, volunteers with the organization delivered 67,549 sack lunches, almost 16,000 more than the 51,388 served in 2012 in the community.
MUST helps about 11,000 people in Cherokee each year, almost half of whom are children. The number makes up 60 percent of those in need in this county, data from MUST showed.
“This is an amazing accomplishment for the Summer Lunch 2013 team,” said Kelley Henderson, vice president and chief programs officer. “Not only did they meet the hunger needs of more than 6,000 children across eight counties, they worked together to our little neighbors in need. This monumental effort showcases MUST’s continued commitment to working with local community partners in service across North Georgia.”
The organization conducted an appreciation event Monday night at New Life Church near Canton for those who helped with the MUST Ministries Summer Lunch.
Cherokee County had four distribution sites this year and each of those was supported by three or four additional congregations and other groups. The four distribution sites were New Life Church, Mt. View United Methodist Church, Heritage Baptist Church and Sixes United Methodist Church.
In the eight counties served by MUST, almost a quarter of a million sack lunches reached hungry children during the summer months. MUST Ministries has coordinated the program for 18 years and this year saw a 31 percent increase in lunches as the final tally soared to 247,087, a release said.
“A special thank you to our partners, volunteers, benefactors, sandwich makers, bag decorators, checkers and packers, drivers, PB&J mixers, cold cut stackers, and of course our outstanding team of staff,” Henderson said. With numerous groups and organizations involved in making this happen, the list is too long to innumerate, he said, “but we are grateful to churches, civic clubs, sports teams, scout troops, families, businesses and individuals who all pitched in to make this happen.
Henderson estimated a 58 percent increase over the last four years as MUST has gone from serving Cobb and Cherokee counties to reaching Bartow, Douglas, Gwinnett, North Fulton, Paulding and Pickens as well.
“It’s remarkable what a community can do when they all work together on one cause. We are pleased to help lead this crusade to serve children in need in our area,” Henderson said.
Some of the many groups, businesses and organizations that helped make Summer Lunch Cherokee 2013 a success include:
Big Peach Running Co.
Flowers Bread Store
The Longino Law Firm
Churches and Synagogues:
North River Church of Christ
New Life - host site
Canton First Baptist Church
Northbrooke United Methodist Church
Allatoona Latter Day Saints
Little River United Methodist Church
Union Hill United Methodist Church
Orange United Methodist Church
Hillside United Methodist Church
Antioch Christian Church
Fields Chapel United Methodist Church
St. Andrews United Methodist Church
First Baptist Woodstock
Mt. Gilead UMC
Hickory Flat UMC
St. Clements Episcopal
Canton First United Methodist Church
Burnt Hickory Baptist
North point Ministries
Woodstock United Methodist Church
New Victoria Baptist
Bascomb United Methodist Church
Heritage Baptist Fellowship-host site
Mountain View United Methodist Church -host site
Birmingham United Methodist Church
City on a Hill United Methodist Church
Cumming First United Methodist Church
Our Lady of La Salette
Waleska First Baptist
Woodstock Church of the Nazarene
Several LDS Congregations
Sixes United Methodist Church —host site
Chestnut Ridge Christian Church
Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church
Johnson Ferry Baptist Church
Transfiguration Catholic Church
Ray Thomas Presbyterian
Mt. Zion United Methodist Church
Holy Trinity Lutheran
Congregation Beth Hallel
Canton Rotary Club
Woodstock Rotary Club
Bridgemill Sixes Service League
Pilot Club of Cherokee County
Kennesaw Charter School
YMCA Youth Leadership
Etowah Eagle Cheerleaders
Etowah Jr. Cheerleaders
Brookfield Country Club
Woodstock Mom’s Group
River Green Community
Family Violence Center
Soleil Community Subdivision
North Hampton Subdivision