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Lt. Gov. Cagle gives to local food bank
121908 FOODBANK CAGLE 1 web
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, center, gets a tour of the Statesboro Food Bank Friday from treasurer Alton Odum. Cagle made a stop too see operations and present a donation.
    Georgia’s Lt. Governor Casey Cagle was in town Friday, bearing gifts of food for the Statesboro Food Bank.
    Having heard about shortages at the food bank, which has served 175 families and 375 people this month, Cagle took time away from visiting constituents in the Swainsboro area to travel to Statesboro, bringing food collected from his office as well as 1,000 lbs. of food from Nash Finch.
    He was accompanied by Preston Brinson, Nash Finch employee and a board member of the Georgia Food Industry Association.
    “We wanted to help fill the shelves,” he said. “Many people in the community have fallen on hard times.”
    Cagle praised the Statesboro Food Bank for doing such a great job feeding people in need and had strong praise also for the community that has banded together to provide the food.
    A few weeks ago the food bank shelves were bare, but when the community read a story in the Statesboro Herald about the shortage, food drives popped up and the food came flooding in, said food bank volunteer Joe Bill Brannon.
    “This organization clearly has done something special for the community where over 175 families have been helped,” Cagle said. “It’s a real honor to be lieutenant governor and help an organization like this. It’s a huge success story, no questions asked.”
    Even as Cagle toured the food bank and spoke to reporters, volunteers were bagging and boxing the food he brought, and Cagle helped carry loads out to recipients’ cars.
    He urged community members to continue donating, because the need for food by some families who have met misfortune is steady.
    “Charitable giving is down and the need continues to rise,” he said, referring to the impact of the economy on people.
    Cagle pointed out the food bank gets no government assistance - it’s all through donations from the community.
    One woman filled out paperwork needed in order to receive assistance. Her husband left her after his hours at work were cut, and she has six children to feed.
    The food bank donations “ helps me feed them for Christmas,” she said. Part of her food supply included a turkey.
    Statesboro Mayor Bill Hatcher was on hand during Cagle’s visit, and expressed pride in the community. “This organization has been at this for some time, filling in the blanks, helping folks who would otherwise not have food,” he said. “The community has been magnanimous, and this is really what Christmas is all about - helping others.”
    The way citizens responded to the news the food bank shelves were bare a month ago “ says a lot about our community,” he said. “Not only in giving, but in the cadre of volunteers who make it all happen.”
    “We just want to t hank the community for the food donations,” said Alton Odum, food bank treasurer.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414. 
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