SPRINGFIELD — Born in 2009 during the Great Recession, the Guyton Community Food Bank is all grown up and still very valuable to Effingham County.
The pantry, also known as “The Fillin’ Station,” is benefitting hundreds of residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Located in the old Effingham County Middle School cafeteria, The Fillin’ Station closed for a short spell after the pandemic was declared but quickly went back to work.
“We decided that we couldn’t ignore the need in Effingham,” said Bobbie Secich, pantry director. “We reopened as a drive-through only.”
In order to follow social distancing guidelines, pantry volunteers prepackage food into bags or boxes and deliver it to clients who wait in the driveway in front of the school.
“Everything is put in either the back seat of the car or the trunk of the car,” Secich said. “Then (the clients) can be on their way.”
Each client receives about 70 pounds of food per visit.
“It’s enough to supplement for at least a week,” Secich said.
Each delivery typically includes two bags of canned goods, including meats, vegetables and fruits.
“And then we have a dry goods bag,” Secich said. “That includes rice, noodles, spaghetti, a dried fruit or nuts.”
In addition, a bag with five or six portions of frozen meats purchased from Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia is included.
“Usually, there is chicken and pork,” Secich said. “With this last one, we had fish sticks and hamburger.”
The pantry is funded primarily through Guyton Christian Church and other nearby houses of faith.
“Donations are gladly accepted,” Secich said. “We would be thrilled to get them.”
Secich said the need for the pantry is just as great as it was when it started and she is happy it is still helping people. She has worked for The Fillin’ Station since its inception.
“People are proud — and I understand that — but when you need it, you need it,” she said.
To donate, call Guyton Christian Church at 912-772-3478.
“Effingham County is an especially giving county,” Secich said. “I am proud to be from Effingham County.”
The Fillin’ Station is open Tuesdays and Thursdays, excluding holidays, from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.