The Gleaning House helps more than 1,800 families in need over the holidays

PICKENS — For Gleaning House Ministries of Pickens, Christmas 2010 was the biggest time of giving in the organization’s history.
This Christmas, the Gleaning House Ministries made it possible for 365 families in the area to enjoy the holiday with a Christmas dinner that included meat, canned goods, produce, bread and dessert.
According to ministry officials, the public has changed since the food pantry opened 10 years ago. Back then, the ministry served only 45 families a month, and at that time most of the clients were the elderly, retired and children.
Now the Gleaning House serves more than 1,800 families a month. The ministry has also seen a complete change in its clientele — from the elderly to clients whose ages range from 30 to 60 years old. Many of these families also have children.
The Gleaning House has also seen a trend of some households doubling up in the recent tough economy. On average, the Gleaning House packs more than 20 boxes a week for families of eight or more that includes children from the area in need.
The Gleaning House is open on Tuesday and Thursday every week.
All funding for the Gleaning House comes from community businesses, churches, schools, groups, clubs, and private donations of money and food. The staff is 100 percent made up of volunteers.
The Gleaning House Ministries is a 503(c) program, making all donations tax deductible. As with all food pantries nationwide, the Gleaning House is also struggling to serve the people.
The Gleaning House appreciates all donations — monetary or food — that help provide for our Pickens County families.