Ministry cites many needs for families

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Brookhaven Outreach Ministries and the South Central MississippiFood Bank housed inside are once again dealing with the Christmasrush, and ministry leader and founder Bro. Jerry Durr says it’s abusy year.

“Quite a few people have come through,” he said. “A lot ofpeople are out of jobs right now – it’s not just the normal peoplethat have been struggling for years, it’s people who have losttheir jobs or are on unemployment and need some assistance.”

Durr said it is for this reason that donations are especiallywelcome, because as the need has grown, the stores on the shelvesare having to stretch further and further.

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“We could use some bread products and meal and flour,” he said.”Those are some of the things we don’t really get a hold of.”

Canned food is also needed and extremely welcome, he said, asthe number of people served by the food pantry seems to be growingevery month. He said in October the pantry served about 460families, and in November it served another 560.

“This is the month that we have a lot of people coming by forfood and other items also, and we’re just trying to do what we canfor the people of the community,” he said.

Durr said the outreach has had its food bank in place since 1988locally, and the South Central Mississippi Food Bank has been opensince 1999. The food bank is open Tuesday and Thursday from 1 until3 p.m., while the Outreach Ministry is open Monday through Friday8-5, and closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch.

The two are definitely working in tandem this season, Durrsaid.

“It’s not just food, it’s children’s clothing and things thatpeople are really needing, and as far as toys we try to save themup to give out at Christmas time,” he said. “What we’re basicallydoing this year is trying to meet needs with food and clothing anddifferent items like that.”

While the food pantry serves seven counties, donations madelocally go to serve local people, Durr said.

And on top of everything, he said, the Outreach Ministries andthe food bank are there all year long, but especially atChristmastime, to serve people’s hungry souls as well as theirhungry stomachs.

“We set forth to assist individuals in the community withphysical resources but also spiritual resources,” he said. “Inorder for a person to be receptive to the word of God, if they’rehungry, first you have to feed them. We look to address the needsof the whole man.”

Anyone who wishes to help the Brookhaven Outreach Ministries’food pantry can make monetary donations to The DAILY LEADER/Bank ofBrookhaven Holiday Food Pantry drive. Funds will be distributedequally to three Brookhaven food pantries.