Local food bank has new leader


By Tom Joyce - tjoyce@civitasmedia.com



Dixie Ratliff, new program coordinator of the Yokefellow Cooperative Ministry food pantry in Mount Airy, takes a break recently among its shelves.


A new program coordinator has been served up for the Yokefellow Cooperative Ministry food pantry in Mount Airy.

The board of directors of the longtime local charitable organization didn’t have to go far to find that individual before its recent action naming Dixie Ratliff to the position.

Ratliff was serving as assistant program coordinator to Jill Borders, who recently resigned from the top job after more than nine years of service.

The new coordinator seeks to maintain that continuity through her expanded role.

“I’m very excited about it,” Ratliff said Thursday. “I’m just really looking forward to it.”

Ratliff volunteered for about five years with Yokefellow, and served as assistant coordinator for a little more than a year, as one of only two part-time paid staff members for a large ministry that depends heavily on volunteers.

Yokefellow officials say that in her new role, Ratliff will lead all aspects of the volunteer team that includes more than 100 people, with no assistant coordinator having been named.

“It’s just going to be me for now,” she said as the only paid staffer involved.

Yokefellow personnel serve those in need in the area primarily through the organization’s food pantry based at L.H. Jones Family Resource Center on Jones School Road. It supplied groceries to more than 10,000 clients last year.

In addition to providing food, the organization helps persons in need avoid utility cutoffs and assists with prescriptions for those without insurance.

Ratliff said maintaining adequate staffing at the facility will be an ongoing task for her. “We could always use volunteers.”

The coordinator is seeking persons to help pick up food, stock shelves, pass out groceries, screen applicants and generally maintain and grow a ministry that gives more than $250,000 worth of food annually to those in need.

Anyone willing to help with those volunteer tasks or otherwise be a part of the ministry can call 789-5838 or write to P.O. Box 211, Mount Airy, NC, 27030, to be added to the list. Training is provided for all areas of service.

To stock the facility on Jones School Road, food drives are held continually by area churches, with additional emphasis by postal workers in May, many schools at Christmastime and other groups throughout the year.

Meanwhile, monetary donations from the public also are always welcome to help buy food that is not donated. The United Fund of Surry is Yokefellow’s largest-single financial contributor.

Yokefellow was formed more than 40 years ago by a group of area churches to cooperate in service to the needy, and focuses on all of Surry County and parts of Virginia.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Dixie Ratliff, new program coordinator of the Yokefellow Cooperative Ministry food pantry in Mount Airy, takes a break recently among its shelves.
http://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/web1_New-food-lady.jpgDixie Ratliff, new program coordinator of the Yokefellow Cooperative Ministry food pantry in Mount Airy, takes a break recently among its shelves.

By Tom Joyce

tjoyce@civitasmedia.com

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