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Outreach Ministries feeding the hungry

“We’ve had a lot more people in need this year, and we get to help them.”

That’s the attitude of the Rev. Dr. Jerry Durr, in his own words.

As director of Brookhaven Outreach Ministries Inc. at 210 West Court St., Durr and his volunteers serve hundreds of people on Tuesday and Thursday each week by providing boxes of quality foods to those who need some help feeding themselves and their families.

It’s a ministry Durr has been tackling for the past 32 years.

Working in connection with Feeding America, BOM receives much of its food through partner donations. Recipients are given meats, canned goods and many other items to provide balanced meals for their families.

People who receive help must first visit the non-profit ministry’s office and complete an Emergency Food Assistance Program client eligibility form. They must provide names and ages of everyone living in the household, as well as household income and any other assistance programs in which they are involved, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

Certified applications are valid for one year.

Those who qualify for assistance with BOM can pick up food twice monthly — once on a Tuesday and once on a Thursday.

“We helped 971 people last month,” Durr said, checking the ministry’s reports. “We’ve helped 9,568 people so far this year.”

Of the nearly 1,000 people assisted in November, approximately 25% fell in each of the four age divisions the ministry reports.

“It’s all ages and people from all around here,” Durr said, “including the homeless. We have homeless people come each time we’re open and we help them, too.”

The ministry also provides extra services and meals October-December. One of those extra services is their annual Christmas Give-Away.

The giveaway provides food, new toys and household items. Participants must preregister through Dec. 17 by picking up a ticket in person at the BOM office. The distribution will be Dec. 22 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., and participants must arrive no later than 2 p.m.

Durr also serves as pastor of the adjoining church, Brookhaven Outreach Ministries Christian Fellowship Center, and provides audio and video sermons on the church’s Facebook page for people who are unable to attend church during the COVID pandemic, or who need spiritual food to accompany the physical food they are given.

Anyone who wants to donate a new toy to be given away by BOM can drop them off at the ministry’s office or call 601-833-1350 for more information.