By LEAH STRATMANN
The Rural Relief food pantry will be open again on Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. until noon and pantry manager Chuck Tucker expects the food requirements to be heavy. “In the first nine quarters of 2010 that we distributed food, we served a total of 2,442 people which included 819 children under the age of 18. For the next pantry I should be getting some USDA this week but don’t know what I’m gonna get [hopefully more then 10 cases of lentils]. Our greatest needs still remain the same. I never have enough meat so cash for some meat is needed, but we also need peanut butter, green beans, corn, peas, canned tuna/chicken/beef, pasta and ramen. We are still asking for donations of firewood. Our walk-in freezer has been ordered and also a base for it. The storage shed has been built and we are currently researching standby generators.
“In the first nine months of 2011, 4,830 people have been given food, including 1,383 children, who have been given 75,000 pounds of food. We are projecting over 175 families for the pantry that falls just before Thanksgiving. That will be a record number of families for our pantry. We always welcome volunteers to help on pantry days and are an approved site for community service and student volunteers,” Tucker said.
The next Rural Relief Coalition meeting is Friday at the Bruce Methodist Church 10 a.m. to noon. They will also be having free medical screenings for all who need it by the Northwest Florida State College School of Nursing at the Muscogee Nation of Florida Council House on Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again on Nov. 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The public is invited to have screenings on blood pressure, diabetes, or other related health issues.
The tribe has started work on the grant from the Administration of Native Americans to prepare for investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Muscogee Nation of Florida is still seeking congressional recognition; senators and congressmen have introduced the bills, but currently no further action has occurred.
Donations may be mailed to Rural Relief, 278 Church Street, Bruce, FL 32455 or dropped off at the tribal office.
Leah Stratmann may be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org