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St. Paul M.B. pantry doors open for hungry

Sue Smith

Sue Smith

St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church at 508 N. Second St. operates one of the oldest food pantries in the state.

At between 25 and 50 families served in a month, they aren’t the biggest of the local food pantries, but they’ve been steadily serving the community since 1989. They also open their doors often — every Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon, and they will also open their doors during the week for an emergency.

“Our pantry is smaller than most of the pantries in Brookhaven,” assistant director Sue Smith said. “But we try to make it available.”

It’s a lot of work, and there are a limited number of volunteers working on the project. Smith said they are always looking for people interested in helping. The church can be reached at 601-833-8966. According to Smith, the best times to call are in the afternoon on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Smith herself can also be reached at 601-835-1426.

“It’s a good ministry,” Smith said. “We can’t find enough people.”

St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church is a member of the Mississippi Food Network, and they follow the MFN’s guidelines on eligibility and income requirements. People new to the pantry will need to fill out a form with their income and household size and also present a photo ID.

The pantry is one of five organizations and churches that will benefit from the 13th annual Holiday Food Pantry Drive, which is a joint effort between Bank of Brookhaven and The Daily Leader.

The money raised will be divided between groups 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.

Donors have the option of donating in honor or memory of someone, anonymously, as a business or as an individual. The food pantry drive will end Dec. 16.

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.

Contributors:

Carolyn J. Brown — $50

Nena Smith’s School of Dance — $200

Karen Sullivan — $100

Anonymous — $150

Anonymous — $200