Blood Assurance recently hosted a special blood drive asking donors to step up and give blood but also to help raise money for God’s Food Pantry in Smithville. With each unit of blood collected, a $ 10 donation was made by Blood Assurance and matched by DeKalb County Clerk James L. “Jimmy” Poss.

On Thursday, Trudy Cody, Blood Assurance donor recruiter / account manager and County Clerk Poss presented their donations by check totaling $ 335.00 combined to Pat Zornow and Hilda Oakley of God’s Food Pantry.

Cody said through this “Great Give Back” effort, Blood Assurance, with the help of County Clerk Poss, was able to help further the pantry’s mission to feed the hungry and meet their other needs year-round.

“Blood Assurance supplies local hospitals with blood products, and we ask people every day to donate, and they are so good to come out and do that, but we also want to do a little something more for the community so each December we have a blood drive called the “Great Give Back” where we partner with a local charity or non-profit organization to help raise money for them. Jimmy (Poss), who partners with Blood Assurance for our Neighbors Helping Neighbors Blood Drives, suggested that for the December “Great Give Back” we raise money for God’s Food Pantry so we did the blood drive, Blood Assurance donated $ 10 per donor, and Jimmy matched that. We were very proud to be able to help out, ”said Cody.

“I have been working with Trudy for several years helping organize and promote the“ Neighbors Helping Neighbors blood drives so when she called me in December it was an opportunity to participate with her on something new (Great Give Back) which I was unaware of. I told Trudy I would be glad to join and help and I would match whatever she collected to go to Gods Food Pantry to help them carry on their mission, ”said County Clerk Poss.

“We are thankful for this donation,” said Zornow. “We always need the cash to not only purchase food, but we pay for utilities and rent for those in need including the homeless. Last week it was $ 1,300 alone to get an elderly couple into a place where they are now off the street. We use the money for other purposes too. It’s not just for food. It’s the whole person approach. You can’t just give them food and let them live outside. There are so many needs out there and we don’t care what county they come from. We had Children Services here this morning. They sometimes have a difficult time getting food from other counties when they are transferring children from county to county but we don’t question. We’ll pack up several boxes for them to feed those kids. We never ask. We just do whatever we need to do, ”said Zornow.

God’s Food Pantry, like many other organizations and businesses, has experienced supply chain issues recently and could use all the help anyone can provide.

“Today (Thursday) we were supposed to get a delivery from Second Harvest but it’s not coming until next week and that is what we are dealing with. We would normally be stockpiled to the ceiling and have more food in here but it’s just not available to purchase any more so we are having a hard time getting quantities. We can order from Food Lion if they can get it in like cereals and crackers but many times they don’t get it in so we have to scrounge here and there to find some things, ”said Zornow.

“People don’t realize the need is out there like it is. It’s awful. There are so many, and people you wouldn’t think about, that need help. I have been working with God’s Food Pantry since 2008 after I retired and really enjoy it because I know I am helping other people, ”added Oakley.

God’s Food Pantry is located at 430 East Broad Street. Call 615-597-4540 to leave a message and someone will promptly return your call.

For more information about Blood Assurance visit https://www.bloodassurance.org/

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