MAGS food pantry marks 25 years of service

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : October 6, 2012

Mabank Area Good Samaritans president Bill Burnett

Monitor Photos/Pearl Cantrell
Mabank Area Good Samaritans marked its 25th anniversary of its food pantry with a luncheon celebration at the Mabank First United Methodist Church. MAGS president Bill Burnett recognized the 10 churches that make up MAGS as well as other food pantries in the area.

Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–The Mabank Area Good Samaritans celebrated its 25th anniversary Oct. 3.
The organization started in 1987, joining with the East Texas Food Bank in Tyler. It agreed to abide by its rules for collecting, storing, handling and distributing food.
MAGS has grown from a fewer than six churches to 10 area churches over the years, current MAGS president Bill Burnett said during a luncheon held at the First United Methodist Church of Mabank.
In the beginning, member churches pledged to contribute $50 per month to cover expenses. Along the way individuals also began to make monthly contributions.
Monthly meetings were held, presided over by a number of selfless leaders including Edie Sawyer, Nita Pruitt, Dorothy Hensley, Finis Burk, Pat Bennett Chadwick, Ruth Dutton, Wynelle Hyde, J. Ethridge and Lowell Pahl.
A number of what Burnett called MAGS angels were also recognized for their ongoing support.
These included Randy Teague, Johnny Lindsey and Janet Johnson, who collected 10,000 pounds of food; Jim Thompson of Solar Turbines whose annual Thanksgiving drive collects nearly 5,000 pounds of food.
Also, Paul Lasiter and Ken Green, who recently began a pantry garden at St. James on the Lake Episcopal and have provided fresh produce to the pantry.
There’s the Cedar Creek Lake Women’s Club; June Tinsley with the Presbyterian Women who provided 100 stuffed animals to include with the Christmas food baskets; Vicky Mosley, the Enchanted Oaks Women’s Club who have agreed to fill Christmas stockings this year and who provide personal hygiene bagged items for the food pantry.
The Pinnacle Women’s Club annual benefit sale raises $33,000 for area charities, including MAGS.
The Mabank High School Beta Club was thanked for its annual Fill the Bus campaign.
Also the Cedar Creek Rotary Club and Tri-County Ford were recognized for their ongoing support.
He also recognized the attendance of representatives from other area food pantries, including Care and Share, Christian Life Center, Community Food Pantry at the Cedar Creek United Methodist Church and its partnering churches.
The pantry’s many faithful volunteers who man the pantry first housed at the white building behind the First United Methodist Church and then the white building at First Baptist and now since 2011 at the Senior Center at the Ballpark, through the auspices of the city of Mabank.
In 2000, MAGS served 466 families, in 2011 that rose to 1,884 families.
“It takes a whole community to support our organization,” Burnett said. “The volunteers from each church are our ambassadors of Christian care and concern for those in need. We are thankful for those volunteer workers who have gone before and who are active now. You deserve much credit for proving it could be done and for believing miracles happen every day.”