How sweet it is: Annual Lions’ potato sale returns

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The time has come once again for the Wesson Lions Club to make available “the best sweet potatoes grown anywhere in the world” to area residents, according to club member Bob Arnold.

The club will kick off sales Wednesday, Sept. 28, with the arrival of a truckload of 400 boxes of Landreth Farms-produced sweet potatoes from the Vardaman area in north central Mississippi — the “Sweet Potato Capital of the World” — at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, where its members will pick them up for their customers.

For the 10th consecutive year, the potatoes will be sold to raise funds for the local, state, national and global charities the club helps support. Area restaurants also stock up on the sweet potatoes during the annual fundraising effort, Arnold said.

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The club’s goal is to fully distribute them to sweet potato lovers throughout the area by the end of the day of the Wesson Flea Market on Saturday, Oct. 15, when they will be on sale at a Lions Club vendor tent at the annual event.

Along with regular sweet potatoes, a few boxes jumbos may also be available this year.  In spite of inflation, the prices will be at the same level they have been for 10 years — $20 per box, or 50 cents per pound.

Landreth Farms officials say it’s the loamy soil — along with timely early rains — in the Vardaman area that make their potato crops sweet and special. Landreth plants sweet potatoes on 750 acres, among Mississippi farmers, who raise sweet potatoes on more than 18,400 acres across the state. The farm sells commercially to national food stores, such as Kroger and Wal-Mart; and canners, like Gerber; and produces a line of pre-wrapped sweet potatoes for microwave cooking.

The annual sweet potato sale is among four major fundraising activities of the Wesson Lions Club. The Club also has an annual pancake breakfast, sells peanuts at Co-Lin football games and collects money on Hwy. 51 from motorists to support eyesight charities. It disburses some $10,000 every year to assist deaf and blind persons through the International Lions Club and to support local organizations and causes related to children and youth, veterans, hospice care and other community issues and concerns.

For information and to order sweet potatoes, call 601-643-2466 or 501-643-2002.