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Food Bank busy during holiday season

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As the holiday season approaches, workers and volunteers at the Statesboro Food Bank are preparing for a busy time, not only in terms of service, but in receiving donations as well.
    Effie Burns, manager of The Food Bank, said this time of year sees an increase in the number of people they help.
    "Today we've been giving out food from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and we've been busy just about every minute," Burns said Monday afternoon.
    She said they've also been helping a lot of larger families recently, with some as large as six and eight people.
    And while they've been busy preparing food to distribute, they've also been busy collecting food, which Burns seems to come in a lot during this time of year.
    "From now until right after Christmas, we get a lot of donations," she said. "Everyone wants to give at this time of year."
    They also have a lot of volunteers, which Burns says is critical to keeping the Food Bank operating as it does.
    "We appreciate all the support and volunteers we get," Burns said. We need people to sort and box the food once it gets here."
    One of those volunteers was Laura Poenicke, a Georgia Southern student who started working at the Food Bank a little more than a month ago. As a Nutrition/Food Science major, she was interested in seeing what kinds of food are given out as well as helping those less fortunate.
    "It's been a good experience to try to fulfill the needs of those who don't have as much as everyone else," Poenicke said.
    Burns said this time of year is also one in which people want to volunteer.
    "We had a little eight-year old come in today and wanted to volunteer," she said. "He sorted for us and did a lot. He was a lot of help."
    In addition to donations, The Food Bank is able to buy a lot of it's food from Second Harvest, which sells food at a discounted price to agencies like the Food Bank, enabling them to purchase more for the money.
    For more information about donations or volunteering, call the Food Bank at (912) 489-3663.
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