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Lighthouse gears up for holidays



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Volunteers Susan Shutty, left, and Chris Furlo sort donations at Lighthouse North. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
December 14, 2011 - Donations fill the shelves and hallways of Lighthouse North food pantry, but it won't last long.

"It will be distributed quickly – the food will be all gone by the end of February," said Connie Stapleton, manager at Lighthouse North, 6330 Sashabaw Road.

Donations include a busful of food and toys collected by Clarkston Community Schools bus drivers at their eighth annual Stuff-a-Bus, Dec. 10-11.

"It was a huge success," said Tammy Layton, organizer. "We received almost $500 in money and gift card donations and a very full bus stuffed with food, toys and clothing."

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"Stuff-a-Bus brought in so much," Stapleton said. "It's very helpful because it rounds out the needs the rest of the community has given to us as far as toys. Plus they collect a great amount of food and gift cards we can give out."

The number of people asking for food assistance has increased, she said.

"It's up 10-15 percent over last year. There are a lot more sad cases – abusive relationships, kids going hungry, people who have lost their homes."

Many people who lost their jobs find only minimum wage jobs available, she said.

"People take them, but they come up short," Stapleton said. "It's not enough to support a family."

Items in need for the new year include the basics: peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti noodles and sauce, tuna and hamburger helper, canned tuna, and other items useful for making meals.

Gift cards for grocery stores and gas stations are also needed.

"Any gift cards we get we give out at Christmas time or early in the year for things like gas, or to supplement the food we give them with fresh milk and bread," she said.

Call Lighthouse Emergency Services at 248-620-6116.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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