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Martensville Free Pantry Hosting Open House to Help Bring Awareness to Community

by Jocelyn Ottenbreit

For the past several years, the Martensville Free Pantry (MFP), located at the Civic Centre, has been a resource for local families in need of food and hygiene items.

With help from volunteers, the community, and other organizations, the MFP has successfully helped many families have food on their table since 2016. Due to the growing demands of this initiative, more support is needed to keep these resources available.

On Wednesday, October 5th, the City of Martensville along with the coordinators of the Free Pantry are hosting an Open House in Room #2 at the Civic Centre and are hoping that the public will attend this informative meeting.

The focus of this Open House is to let the supporters in the community understand how the organization operates, what the volunteers have been doing to help provide food security, and what to expect in the future.

The MFP, along with the City of Martensville, are asking for support from the community to consider joining the Martensville Free Pantry to form a board of directors to help lead and steer this important resource, and volunteers are also welcomed to help collect, distribute food, or help in any way possible.

Coordinators Taralynn Wagner, Linda Ward, and Brenda Carter collaborate in making decisions along with Secretary Jolanda Wingeier and a dedicated number of daily volunteers to keep the free pantry going. Items from Martensville Co-op and Buy-Low Foods in Warman are received and put out daily and items from hampers are put out intermittently. Fridges are emptied out every week to make room for Tuesday and Wednesday pickup. Bakery and dairy products are stored on shelves, along with fridges and a deep freeze at the Civic Center that are provided by the City of Martensville.

Hampers are provided by request from residents in Martensville and rural areas. The recipients provide household information as well as health cards at pick up.

Hampers can be requested by Tuesday at 5:30pm and are available for pick up Wednesday between 11:30am and 1 pm.
Donations that are in demand frequently are school lunch snacks such as granola bars, canned meats, canned soup, rice, canned vegetables, baby cereal, crackers, etc. Currently they are looking for Thanksgiving food supplies such as potatoes, vegetables, ham, etc. Please note that expired items cannot be accepted.

The Martensville Free Pantry would not be possible without donations and they want to put out a huge thank you to Warman Buy-Low. They pick up from them weekly and have received fresh veggies as well as frozen meat, dairy products and other food products. Martensville Co-op has also been a huge donor. Bakery products and hunger bags are picked up daily from them as well as dairy products every Tuesday.

Other donors worth mentioning are the Kinsmen Club, Lions Club, Smokehaus, Anthony Neinhuis, Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church, Forged Fitness, and a number of individuals.

Besides the Civic Centre, there are various drop off locations available throughout Martensville where items can be donated. Drop off boxes can be found at City Hall, the MAP and at the Co-op Food Store. To request a food hamper, or to schedule a donation, contact martensvillefreepantry@gmail.com, Martensville Free Pantry Facebook Messenger, or text/call 306-280-1255 to arrange for someone to meet you at the Civic Centre.

If you are interested in becoming a board member, volunteer, or just want to hear more about what the Martensville Free Pantry is all about, be sure to come out to the Open House on Wednesday, October 5th.

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