Sertoma volunteers deliver holiday meals

By on December 27, 2017


A group of more than 30 Manheim Sertoma volunteers packed and distributed holiday meal ingredients to families in need in the Manheim area. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

Members of the Manheim Sertoma Club spread some holiday cheer on Saturday, Dec. 23. Over 30 volunteers of all ages packed and distributed boxed holiday meals to 77 families in the Manheim area.

The box, or more accurately, grocery bag, was filled with holiday meal items including: a ham, bread, corn, and a pumpkin pie. Meal items were picked up in bulk from Darrenkamp’s Market, and packed by the volunteers, some wearing festive Santa hats or holiday-themed sweaters or sweatshirts, into the meal boxes, which were then delivered.

Manheim Sertoma president Mel Sauder said the holiday meal delivery is a long-standing tradition dating back over 30 years. Names of families are provided by the Manheim Central Food Pantry, and this year’s figure of 75 is an uptick from the 60 delivered in previous years.

“This long-standing project helps area families in need enjoy a holiday meal,” Sauder said. “It’s our way of spreading holiday spirit.”

The organization is also a regular supporter of the food pantry, donating $500 per quarter to help fund the organization.

Cathy Knittle, Manheim Central Food Pantry secretary, said the organization serves 140 to 150 Manheim area households each month.

“That shows there’s a great need in the community for our service,” she said.

The food pantry provides personal care items — toiletries and household products — and food items, such as canned and pre-packaged food, to its clients on a monthly basis based on household size. Baked goods, fresh produce, frozen meats, and dairy products are offered when available.

“We don’t have the ability to store items such as turkeys and hams, so having an organization like the Sertoma assist families in our community with holiday meal items is greatly appreciated,” Knittle said. “It allows us to focus on providing monthly assistance.”

Funds to support the Manheim Sertoma’s holiday meals, donations to the food pantry, and other community service projects are raised through several avenues, including the organization’s food stand at the Manheim Community Farm Show (selling fish and oyster sandwiches and more), a dinner, and lottery calendar sales.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at

(Left to right) Mel Sauder, Ryan Neff, and Brady Bryson were among the 30 Manheim Sertoma volunteers who packed and distributed holiday meal ingredients to families in need in the Manheim area.

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