• 50°

Giving to help others is rewarding

Christmas is the season of giving, and there are many people in Lincoln County who need the help of giving hearts.

The Greater Hope Foundation has been helping feed the community for 17 years, and Director Flora Kelly has been there from the beginning. Like several local food pantries, it started when a local church — New Hope M.B. Church — noticed a need  among its congregation and began collecting food. When members of the larger community outside of the church began to approach them for food, Kelly said the church couldn’t turn them away.

“We wanted to get out in the community,” Kelly said. “So we just branched out into a food pantry and moved it to another location.”

The pantry is in a plain white building on New Sight Drive across from the volunteer fire department and around the corner from the church. Greater Hope feeds over 200 local people every month, and 100 percent of community donations are used to purchase food.

The pantry is open on the second and last Thursdays of every month. Because the pantry is able to purchase food at a discount from the Mississippi Food Network, there are some guidelines on how much food people can pick up based on family size.

Often, pantries like Greater Hope provide food to the elderly, who live on a fixed income. Kelly said she has formed many bonds over the years working in the food pantry.

“It’s a lot of work,” Kelly said. “But it’s rewarding. You feel in your heart you know you’re doing what Jesus would have wanted you to do.”

The Daily Leader and Bank of Brookhaven have joined forces for their 16th annual Holiday Food Pantry Drive to help raise funds for The Greater Hope Foundation as well as two other local food pantries — St. Francis of Assisi/St. Vincent de Paul Ministries and Bethel AME.

Supporters of the Holiday Food Pantry Drive have the option of donating anonymously, as a business, as an individual or in honor or memory of someone. The food pantry drive ends Dec. 20.

Contributions are 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, and they will also be accepted at the front desk of the newspaper office. Holiday Food Pantry donations will be published in The Daily Leader as they come in.

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