Impact Suffolk coming Saturday

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 23, 2005

IMPACT SUFFOLK is sponsoring their 8th annual Operation Blessing food distribution event from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Howard Mast Tennis Complex behind the Farm Fresh on North Main Street.

Beginning early in the morning, volunteers will be bagging food, which will then be distributed to the needy.

&uot;It’s a big operation,&uot; said Dot Dalton, president of IMPACT SUFFOLK, &uot;(Operation Blessing) set it up so the volunteers can walk between pallets and the food can be bagged as people walk through them.&uot;

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Last year, the event gave away over 37,000 pounds of food to people in Suffolk and surrounding areas.

The day is free and open to the whole family to take part in the carnival-like atmosphere.

Clowns, face-painting, balloon, music, hot dogs, drinks, popcorn and sno-cones will be part of the fun.

There will also be information booths, along with performances by &uot;Christian Clowns of Virginia&uot; and &uot;Jesters for Jesus.&uot;

&uot;We try to make it fun,&uot; said Dalton, &uot;but you find the people are so intent, both those volunteering, and those getting the food, that that’s what takes over.&uot;

There had been some uncertainty about this year’s event since a large amount of Operation Blessing’s food supply has recently been needed as part of the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

As in years past, any food left over will be given to local agencies, churches with food closets, and church youth groups.

If a church would like some of the left over food, they should have a volunteer bring a letter on the church’s letterhead stationary.

Last year, all of the food was distributed and none was left over.

For more information, call Brenda McClenny, treasurer of IMPACT SUFFOLK, at 539-7216.