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COA to host Drive-Thru Food Pantry

The Selma Christian Outreach Alliance (COA) will hold a Drive-Thru Food Pantry Thursday from 10 a.m. – noon, or until there’s no more food left, at the COA Headquarters located at 700 J.L. Chestnut Blvd.

According to COA Board Member and Volunteer Nancy Bennett, the COA has opened the Food Pantry every Thursday, with the exception of Thanksgiving, since 1995.

“I don’t know of any other organization that’s  been here as long as we have, handing out food on a regular basis,” said Bennett.

While the COA Food Pantry has been going strong for 25 years, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has hindered the COA from regularly opening the Food Pantry, which serves 190-230 people on any given Thursday.

According to Bennett, the Food Pantry hasn’t been open for a few weeks because the majority of the groups volunteers are over 60 and have underlying health issues, the group most vulnerable to the virus.

After not being open for a few weeks, Bennett anticipates a larger turnout than normal at Thursday’s Drive-Thru Food Panty.

To prepare, Bennett said the COA’s volunteers and donors have really stepped up to the plate.

Bennet delivered a special thanks to the Morgan Academy Student Government Association.

“It not be possible to do what we’re doing without the young people of Morgan Academy,” said Bennett. “Their SGA President, Richard Allan Watters, called me and asked me if there was anything they could do,” said Bennett. “They then came over and packed up the food, which is very labor intensive, it hurts. They stepped up to the plate royally.”

Bennett said some of the Morgan Academy students will be volunteering along with regular COA members, all of whom will be wearing gloves masks and practicing social distancing as they keep the Drive-Thru Food Pantry running smoothly.

Bennett says clients should enter the Drive-Thru, with a photo ID ready, on Mabry Street.

“All we ask is that our clients have cooperation, patience and manners,” said Bennett. “That’s going to be the key to this whole thing I think, patience.”