MOREHEAD CITY — Martha’s Mission Cupboard manager Ginger Wade was tired of dealing with a leaky freezer used to store perishable food that is given to needy families.

“I came into work one day and there was a big puddle in front of the freezer and I just about started crying,” she said.

Ms. Wade will no longer face those unwanted puddles thanks to a recent $4,500 donation from the Big Rock Foundation Inc.

The money was used to purchase a new 49-cubic-foot upright freezer and a 49-cubic-foot upright refrigerator that enable the ministry to store more fresh vegetables and meats for families. Plus, they were able to purchase a 9-foot by 3-foot stainless steel table to prepare meal boxes for families.

“I thank God for enabling us to have this,” said Ms. Wade Monday as she stood in front of the new freezer and refrigerator and stacked bread on the new table. “We’d all prayed about ordering new equipment. When we opened that envelope that day and saw the check, there were more than a few tears shed.”

Martha Bell, chairman of the board of directors of Martha’s Mission, said the new equipment,delivered the first weekend in October, couldn’t come at a better time.

“This was such an ideal time because we’re getting ready to go into our busiest time of year with Thanksgiving and Christmas,” she said. “Now we have appliances that we won’t have to worry about them breaking down. We know our clients will be taken care of.”

Ms. Wade said the mission uses several smaller freezers and refrigerators to store donated food, as well.

“We could actually use another freezer and refrigerator and we’d fill them,” she said. The new spacious commercial freezer and refrigerator are allowing the mission to store and give away more fresh vegetables and perishable food to families. And, they have more space to store turkeys and hams that she hopes will begin coming in for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“We usually have several churches donate hams and turkeys. I’m actually surprised we haven’t started receiving any by now,” she said, adding that the ministry is currently conducting its Food-A-Thon, a food drive held now through December.

Ms. Wade said the mission is not only in need of meats, but nonperishable food items that are included in the holiday dinners that are given to families in November and December.

Items needed include stuffing, pie filling, packets of gravy, cranberries, marshmallows and canned goods, especially green beans.

She said donations are especially welcome because the mission is feeding more families per month than this time last year.

“We are probably averaging 350 families a month,” she said. “This time last year we were probably feeding 300 to 325 families.”

Those wanting to donate food items can bring them by the kitchen 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Go to the garage doors and knock.

Monetary donations are also welcome. Make checks payable to Martha’s Mission and mail them to: Martha’s Mission Cupboard, 901 Bay St., Morehead City, N.C. 28557.

For more information, call 726-1717.