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Bank of Brookhaven, The Daily Leader holiday drive helps feed the hungry

The 13th annual Holiday Food Pantry Drive, a joint effort between Bank of Brookhaven and The Daily Leader, is underway once again.

The money raised will be divided between five area churches and organizations who work to feed the hungry in Lincoln County — St. Francis of Assisi/St. Vincent de Paul, Union Hall Baptist Church, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, the Greater Hope Foundation and Bethel AME. 

In past years, individuals have donated more than $9,000 annually to support the drive.

Bank of Brookhaven President Shannon Aker said all charitable organizations have learned to do more with less. They all appreciate this extra help provided by the community at the time of year when the requests are more plentiful than the funding.

“They need it,” he said. “Over time, it’s been tougher for them. This time of year they get hit really hard.”

He said the Holiday Food Pantry Drive fills that need, but wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of the community.

“People are really good about giving to it,” he said.

Aker said it’s important to be thankful and pull in the same direction.

“Brookhaven has always been good at that,” he said.

Several donations come from repeat contributors who tell Aker they give because it’s the right thing to do. He appreciates their willingness to give to the annual drive.

“You’re helping a lot of people you’ll never know or see or even know that you helped,” he said.

Aker said the publicity for the four food pantries through the drive also “shines a light” on their dedication to feeding the hungry.

Donors have the option of donating in honor or memory of someone, anonymously, as a business or as an individual. The contributors’ names — unless requesting anonymity — and gift are publicized in the newspaper as they come in. A grand total of donations will be printed in each issue. The food pantry drive will end Dec. 16.

“We are grateful for the support of Bank of Brookhaven and the entire community,” Daily Leader Publisher Luke Horton said. “These funds help local groups meet the needs of local people.”

Donations will be accepted at both The Daily Leader and Bank of Brookhaven. Checks can be made out to Holiday Food Pantry. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602. They’ll also be accepted at the newspaper office front desk. Donations to the Holiday Food Pantry will be published in The Daily Leader as they come in.

Contributions to the Holiday Food Pantry also can be mailed to the bank, given to bank cashiers or donate through the drive-through windows.