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Donors give $10K to Holiday Food Pantry Drive

Four food pantry ministries have received $2,500 each through donations to The Daily Leader and Bank of Brookhaven’s 17th annual Holiday Food Pantry Drive.

Individuals and businesses donated a total of $10,000 through the bank and newspaper to benefit families in Brookhaven and the surrounding areas with needed food items in the coming year.

The funds were split evenly between the food pantry ministries of Bethel AME Church, St. Francis of Assisi/St. Vincent de Paul, The Greater Hope Foundation and Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Bethel AME Church’s food pantry has reached out to the hungry of the city for eight years. More than 400 people are helped every month.

The pantry is located behind the church at 712 South First St., and is open 9-11 a.m. on the first Saturday after the first Sunday of each month. Those who need assistance or want to volunteer should contact director Stanford Qualls at 601-748-1977.

For 10 years, Jim Bonner has coordinated the efforts of the St. Vincent de Paul Ministries food pantry, operated in conjunction with St. Francis of Assisi Church. More than 60 families receive enough food to last for a month through the ministry.

People interested in volunteering or donating to St. Vincent de Paul should call 601-833-2709.

The Greater Hope Foundation’s food pantry is operated through New Hope M.B. Church on New Sight Drive. Director Flora Kelly has worked in the ministry for 18 years.

Open on the second and last Thursdays of each month, more than 150 families are able to go without being hungry. To receive assistance or volunteer, call Kelly at 601-757-7299.

Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s food pantry, located on Mt. Zion Road, helps 150 families each month.

Anyone who needs food or wants to volunteer should call Randall Lofton at 601-835-5914.

More than 6,000 people in Lincoln County experienced food insecurity in 2018, the most recent data from The Annie E. Casey Foundation, an organization that focuses on helping children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes.

Food insecurity does not mean that a person has no access to food, but refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access at times to enough food for an active, healthy life and limited or uncertain availability of foods that are nutritionally adequate.

Food pantries appreciate donations of food items, but monetary donations are often better. These funds allow ministries to purchase the items that are most needed, often from partner suppliers at a discount.