Mayflower success helps local food distrbution

Published 8:35 pm Saturday, November 25, 2017

It was a record-breaking year for a Hampton Roads food drive that supplied local food pantries in Suffolk with some Thanksgiving extras.

At four Hampton Roads locations from Nov. 17-19, including First Team Subaru Kia in Suffolk, the 21st annual Mayflower Marathon food drive raised 667,000 meals, setting a new record, according to a press release.

Hosted by radio stations WAFX and WNOR, all monetary food donations in Suffolk and Virginia Beach went to the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

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“Once again, listeners, partners and clients of 106.9 The Fox and FM99 came together to help the community,” Brand Manager Mike Beck stated in the press release. “A huge thanks goes out to all for their generous contributions of food, money, and time.

“The foodbanks are able to provide over half a million meals with the donations collected during the 21st annual Mayflower Marathon, so the impact of the event lasts long after the holiday is over.”

The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore distributed food to community partners on Tuesday, including Suffolk Christian Church on North Main Street.

The church received 16 boxes of food, 13 turkeys, and 100 pounds each of potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions, according to church member Pat Mann.

“We had the car loaded,” she said.

The church has distributed food to those in need for more than a decade, Mann said. She said members distributed bags of food to more than 800 people in October alone.

“We don’t turn anybody away,” said Mann’s daughter and fellow church member Stephanie Remy. “If anybody comes by, they’re gonna get food.”

Their food pantry is stocked through donations such as leftover bread from Panera Bread. People come each Tuesday except the first Tuesday of the month, Stephanie Remy said.

With what the church has received from the Mayflower Marathon, people will be able to get fresh vegetables for a change, since the church doesn’t have the means to keep perishables, according to Stephanie’s husband, David Remy.

“It helps promote Thanksgiving spirit,” he said.

People’s names were crossed off the church’s list as they met in the lobby last week to receive their usual bags of food, with more potatoes and vegetables to go with whatever they picked from a cart of extra food items.

“It’s really helpful this time of the year,” said Suffolk resident Marilyn Dowdy. “Things like this really help a lot of families make ends meet and enjoy Thanksgiving.”