More than a Food Pantry in Mansura
People come from Mansura, Marksville, Cottonport, Bunkie, Effie, and further afield to visit the Mansura Care and Hope Center – the food pantry hosted by the ministries of Life Point Community Church. A few things make this pantry unique in Avoyelles Parish. Primarily, while there are other food pantries in the parish, MCHC is the only one that is open twice a week, every week. Serving about 430 families each month, the pantry needs the flexibility to spread out distributions over the whole month.
MCHC also participates in Retail Recovery Programs with Walmart and Harvest Foods, where the pantry picks up food donations from the local stores. These programs are essential to the ministry’s food distribution efforts. Without Walmart, it would be difficult for the pantry to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables because they don’t have cold storage space to keep produce fresh – they have to distribute fresh food on the day it is received. The produce is appreciated by the people who visit MCHC, who are primarily the elderly and disabled. The ministry has found that in Mansura, the need is greatest among this population, since many seniors are not eligible for SNAP (food stamps) even though their bills use up most of their income. With the increasing cost of fresh foods, the partnerships with retailers like Walmart are more important than ever to needy families.
Mansura Care and Hope Center is more than just a food pantry. The all-volunteer ministry also operates a thrift store where people can shop for anything from clothing to furniture. Prices are very low, yet there are still families who can’t afford to pay even a few pennies. Items are always given to those in serious need and children’s toys are always free. Nobody in need is turned away. The shop is supplied by donations from the community, and when they have an abundance of merchandise, they share items with other ministries operating thrift stores in Avoyelles Parish.
The MCHC is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9-noon; and Wednesday noon-3. To learn more about Mansura Care and Hope Center, or to make a donation, call (318) 597-8791.