As the holidays near Santa won't be the only one handing out gifts and making the holidays bright.

A number of Gwinnett cooperative ministries' pantries are being stocked with care and lists are being checked twice to ensure there will be enough food and clothing for the less fortunate in the county this year.

As December days quickly pass by, the ministries are asking for food and clothing donations from the community and looking to inform in-need Gwinnettians of what's available in their area.

Hands of Christ Duluth Cooperative Ministry

Each week the Duluth Co-op hands out food, utility and rent assistance and clothing vouchers to needy families and individuals in Duluth.

Assistance is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays by appointment only by calling 770-623-9563.

Food and monetary donations are also accepted at the Duluth location at 3395 Fox Street, Suite 101 during operating hours.

Mary Roberts, director of the cooperative, said as the holidays approach the co-op is in need of gift certificates for local grocery stores and large retailers. She said the cards are given to families in need to buy groceries, gas and needed home supplies.

Powdered milk, cooking oil, stove top dressing and gravy are also needed for the food pantry this holiday season.

For more information, call 770-623-9563 or visit

lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry

The Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry has been helping needy Lawrenceville and Dacula residents since December 1995.

The co-op provides needy residents with boxes of nonperishable food from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays and from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays at the co-op located at 176 Church Street in Lawrenceville.

Utility assistance is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Those interested in receiving assistance must bring photo identification and proof of residency.

Food, hygiene items and monetary donations are accepted during the above hours as well as 9 to 10:30 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Cooperative Director Linda Freund said the ministry is in need of boxed cereal, grits, peanut butter, dried beans, canned fruit and personal care items, such as toothpaste, lotion and toilet paper.

For more information, call 770-339-7887 or visit

lilburn Cooperative Ministry

Christmas gifts for teens are what the Lilburn Cooperative Ministry needs most this time of year, but Assistant Director Patty Kosolapoff said food and clothing is always needed.

Food, monetary and slightly used clothing donations are accepted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 5329 Five Forks Trickum Road in Lilburn.

The ministry serves those in need living in Lilburn and the Gwinnett portions of Stone Mountain and Tucker. Food and clothing assistance is available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. And financial assistance is available by appointment by calling 770-931-8333.

In addition to the co-op program, the Lilburn ministry operates Lily's Cloak, a thrift store at the same location open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Adult clothes are $1 and children's 50 cents.

For more information, call 770-931-8333 or visit

norcross Cooperative Ministry

Shirley Cabe, director of the Norcross Cooperative Ministry, predicts by the year's end the co-op will have served about 10,000 needy people.

The ministry is in the middle of its Christmas program and is looking for new, unwrapped toys as it plans to provide gifts to nearly 3,000 children in Norcross and the Gwinnett County portions of Tucker and Dora-ville.

The co-op is also in need of nonperishable food items, such as spaghetti and sauce, jelly, macaroni and cheese, canned fruit and meals in a can, such as soup and ravioli. Toiletry items, diapers and blankets are also needed this time of year, Cabe said.

The co-op is located at 2275 Mitchell Road, Norcross and is open for assistance and donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

For more information, call 770-263-8268 or visit

North Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry

The North Gwinnett Co-op is preparing to offer holiday assistance to more than 250 families and individuals in need this Christmas.

Holiday assistance sign-up for residents of Buford, Suwanee and Sugar Hill will continue through Dec. 17, offering families boxes of the fixings needed to prepare a holiday meal.

As co-op volunteers begin to put together the meal boxes, Executive Director Maureen Kornowa said the co-op is in need of boxed potatoes, stuffing, canned yams, marshmallows, boxed desserts, canned cranberry sauce and corn muffin mix.

Kornowa said donations for Publix and Kroger gift certificates are also needed. She said the cards are given to those in need for the purchase of a holiday ham or turkey.

Donation drop-off and assistance is available during the holidays and year round from 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Fridays at 70 Wiley Drive in Buford.

For more information, call 770-271-9793 or visit

Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry

Located at the Community Grace Lutheran Church at 1200 Athens Highway in Grayson, the Southeast Gwinnett Co-op issues clothes and food to needy Gwinnett residents in Snellville, Loganville and Grayson.

Currently, typical household staples are what are needed most.

Executive Director Beth Moffat said sugar, personal hygiene items, peanut butter and jelly, laundry and dishwasher detergent are what the co-op tends to run out of the quickest.

The co-op is open for donations and to provide assistance from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Fridays and 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays.

In addition to donations, the ministry is always looking for volunteers.

For more information about assistance, to volunteer or make a donation, call 770-985-5229.