As the need for Manna House grows, the ministry has grown, too.
Manna House volunteers and board members cut the ribbon Sunday on their new 4,000 square foot storage and office building, adjacent to their existing building on Patriot Drive.
“Manna House Ministries is definitely an outreach,” Manna House President Rachel Jackson said. “We pray the Lord will guide us and direct us. A lot of these people are really hurting. God does bless the Manna House.”
The new building is partitioned into four areas. There is a sheltered area to receive donations ranging from furniture to food to clothes, a large pantry for food, a small office and an area in the middle of the building to store large items such as furniture.
“It’s going to be so much more organized,” Jackson said. “It’s going to help us a lot. It’s a blessing to have a building like this.”
Before opening the building, Manna House had food stored in three different areas in their original edifice. And more and more people have called upon Manna House for its services.
“We’ve tripled what we were doing,” Jackson said. “We only have three food pantries in Effingham County now. We’re so glad we have the food for them.”
Jackson said that not long ago a young man rode up to the back of the Manna House building on his motorcycle. He asked if Manna House were hiring.
“I had to tell him this was a volunteer organization,” Jackson said.
His motorcycle failed to start as he tried to leave, she said.
“He’d been out of work for three months, and his motorcycle wouldn’t start,” Jackson said.
With the new building, that opens up room in the original building and Jackson hopes to be able to put that space to use.
“I’m hoping to get some classes set up and teach (their clients) how to buy food efficiently and teach them how to handle their finances,” she said.
Both Manna House Director Lisa Bush and Jackson praised the work of the volunteers, many of whom come from the 30 churches that have allied to support the Manna House.
“We have so many wonderful volunteers who pour themselves out,” Jackson said.
Said Bush: “We couldn’t run the ministry without the support of our volunteers and the hard work they put in.”
Jackson also complimented the church youth groups who lend several hands to the tasks at the Manna House.
“It’s good to see the young people here, and they look forward to being here,” she said.