Sugar Hill holding food drive to help co-op with meals

SUGAR HILL - As the North Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry is preparing to provide 250 families with Thanksgiving meals, Sugar Hill is working to ensure the organization can help families feast at Christmas as well.

Sugar Hill is collecting food and toys for the North Gwinnett Co-op. The toys will be distributed by a church to needy families in the community, but the food will help replenish the ministry's cabinets, said Maureen Kornowa, executive director of the co-op.

Kornowa said it is "huge" that the city is helping the ministry.

"It's greatly appreciated and much needed," she said. "We feed and clothe people all year long."

For holiday meals, the co-op prepares bags of dry goods such as boxed mashed potatoes, boxed stuffing, canned yams, canned vegetables and boxed desserts, Kornowa said. The organization also gives families $15 gift cards to area grocery stores for the purchase of a turkey or ham, she said.

Donated food can be dropped off at the Sugar Hill Community Center at 1166 Church St. or at City Hall at 4988 W. Broad St. All food items should be dry goods.

Sugar Hill Community Relations Director Don Kelemen said the city takes an active part in the co-op because City Manager Bob Hail is on the organization's board of directors.

People have donated a variety of items, Kelemen said. The drive will continue through Dec. 18.

The North Gwinnett Co-op feeds about 270 people each month, Kornowa said. The organization also provides clothing and financial help to families in need. Everything the organization provides has been donated, she said.

The ministry recently received a $10,000 "Good Neighbor" grant from Kaiser Permanente. The money will go into the co-op's general fund, Kornowa said.

SideBar: If you donate

' What: Sugar Hill's holiday can drive and toy collection

' When: Now through Dec. 18

' Where: Items can be dropped off at the Sugar Hill Community Center, 1166 Church St., or at City Hall, 4988 W. Broad St.

' Note: All donated food should be dry goods, such as boxed and canned items.