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Holiday Food Pantry Fund reopens after Katrina stall

A community effort led by two local businesses to help localcharities through the Holiday Food Pantry Fund has been restartedafter missing a year because of the damage wrought by HurricaneKatrina.

The DAILY LEADER and the Bank of Brookhaven are again requestingthe assistance of the community to purchase food for needy familiesfor the holidays. Money raised during the campaign will aid foodpantries at Brookhaven Outreach Ministries, St. Francis ofAssissi/St. Vincent DePaul Ministries and Union Hall BaptistChurch.

Donations to the Holiday Food Pantry Fund may be made by anyone.Donations will be recognized daily in the newspaper. They can bemade in honor of a friend or loved one or can be madeanonymously.

“Anonymous gifts are welcome,” said Shannon Aker, senior vicepresident of Bank of Brookhaven. “The gift will still be published,but it will be labeled as anonymous. It’s a great way to rememberpeople during the holidays.”

“And it serves a desperate need in this community,” added BillJacobs, editor and publisher of The DAILY LEADER. “It could not bedone without the generous contributions of the community.”

Checks to the fund should be made payable to the Holiday FoodPantry and will be accepted at either the bank’s Brookway Boulevardlocation or at the newspaper office on North Railroad Avenue.

“We’re the local bank and The DAILY LEADER is the localnewspaper. It’s good for the local businesses to get together anddo something here for the local people,” Aker said.

Jacobs said the partnership was a natural fit and hoped otherswould join them in the effort.

“I’m proud to work with the Bank of Brookhaven helping ourcommunity and to provide a service to those in need who are down ontheir luck,” he said. “We are blessed to have a community that hasalways risen to the challenge to meet the needs of the lessfortunate in our area.”

The Holiday Food Pantry Fund was created in 2003 and raised morethan $7,800 contributed by 76 individuals or businesses. More than$5,000 was raised in 2004. The 2005 campaign was cancelled,however, after Hurricane Katrina ripped through Louisiana andMississippi and caused extensive damage throughout the state.