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Hundreds served by St. Vincent food pantry

The St. Vincent De Paul Food Pantry is run by the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, but they welcome volunteers of all denominations to help.

“It’s an outreach ministry designed for the church to take part in the community,” volunteer Jim Bonner said. “It’s a tithing of the church for the poor.”

St. Vincent is an independent food pantry that gives families 50 pounds of food for a six-month period. Those in need can call St. Francis at 601-833-2709 and leave a message for the food pantry.

The pantry does require a name, number and photo ID, but they don’t ask for a person’s income level.

“We don’t ask what their income level is,” Bonner said. “We just tell them the food is designed for people in need. Anybody is welcome to come get it — anybody that feels like they need food.”

According to Bonner, the pantry serves roughly 50 families a month, and about 300 families a year. Bonner is hoping to expand the program, and the pantry is looking to other denominations to participate in the project.

“We don’t have any set requirements,” Bonner said. “(Volunteers) aren’t required to join our congregation, and we don’t sit there to preach or anything else.”

St. Francis is one of five area organizations and churches that will receive assistance through the 13th annual Holiday Food Pantry Drive, which is a joint effort between Bank of Brookhaven and The Daily Leader.

The other groups that will be helped are  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. A grand total of donations will be printed in each issue. 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