MPD Electric Cooperative sharing success with groups in Darlington
MPD Electric Cooperative has delivered checks totaling $20,000 to four deserving organizations across the Pee Dee, including one in Darlington. The Community Kitchen of Bennettsville, Sandy Grove Baptist Church/Food Pantry of Bennettsville, Kids Closet of Darlington and Help 4 Kids of Florence were all pleasantly surprised to learn they were recipients of these helpful donations. The contributions were part of the Cooperative’s bank, CoBank, and their “Sharing Success” program. CoBank matched contributions of MPD Electric Cooperative to four local charities of its choice. Roger Griggs at the Community Kitchen stated, “You just don’t know what this means to us. We operate solely on donations, no government funding, and these funds go a long way.” The Community Kitchen serves lunch Monday through Friday to about 180 individuals and is staffed only by volunteers. MPD Electric Cooperative employees also provide food, cook, and serve meals several times each year at the kitchen. Companies or individuals wishing to donate or volunteer can contact Anne Griggs. Sandy Grove’s Food Pantry packs food bags to put in cars that drive through the church parking lot every fourth Saturday feeding about 400 families. Food pantry services are available to anyone who qualifies and registers. Pastor Gilbert Wilson of Sandy Grove Baptist Church said, “The Lord blesses us so we may bless others. That’s what He calls us to do.” Deacon of the church, Thomas Johnson, along with Wilson started the food pantry almost 20 years ago. Donations can be made directly to the church or Harvest Hope Food Bank. Kids Closet in downtown Darlington provides clothes for needy children of all ages and sizes throughout the community. Their space is made to feel like a real retail store to give kids a sense of normalcy and “go shopping.” Beth Hubbard was thrilled to receive the donation and said, “Somehow, some way, the funds always show up just when they are needed.” The organization can also use additional gently used clothing, jackets, shoes, and coat hangers. Diane Welch with Help 4 Kids stated, “The number of food insecure children in our area is surprising. You can’t expect children to learn and behave well in school if they’re going on an empty stomach. Our goal is that children get to school each morning rested, fed and ready to learn.” The organization packs food bags that are sent home before the weekend with children who meet a certain criteria. Although they accept many types of food items, they particularly need pop-top Chef Boyardee cans and volunteers to pack the food bags weekly. “MPD’s cooperative spirit focuses on the needs of the people in our communities. These contributions aim to improve the quality of life in all the areas we serve and we’re grateful for the blessings we have to share with others,” said MPD Electric Cooperative President and CEO William Fleming Jr.