Thursday, July 17, 2008
Food pantry needs donations
By SUE WATSON
New Hope Village is asking the community to help build up stock in its food pantry, according to Marilyn Curry, executive director.
Monetary donations are also accepted year around to help pay for deliveries of food from the Food Bank and to defray utility bills.
The shelter’s pantry was at an all-time low on stocks for a three-month period, but just last week received a shipment that will stretch, under normal circumstances, for just three months, she said.
The shelter buys food from the Food Bank twice a year with a 3,000 pound shipment costing between $600 and $900, Curry said.
Until this last shipment, the pantry was so low, only USDA supplied spinach, beef stew, and apple and grapefruit juice were available at the shelter.
The pantry is open for families who live in Marshall County, she said, while residents at the shelter - now numbering 16 - are accepted from a seven-county area.
“We have had such an increase in families needing food,” Curry said.
To qualify for one-time or a monthly donation of food from the pantry, the family has to verify they are in need, she said.
If an individual receives food stamps, Social Security income, Social Security disability income, or TANIF (food for pregnant mothers), or if their family income falls below the poverty level, the individual can qualify for food at the pantry.
“Those needing food should bring verification like a Social Security check stub or a voucher from the food stamp office,” Curry said.
Both non-perishable and perishable foods are accepted at the pantry. Typical items needed include canned or dry foods, everything it takes to run a household.
The pantry has four freezers to hold perishable meats.
Useful items include sliced bread, canned or dried milk, canned green beans or corn, chicken and dumplings, frozen or concentrated juices, sugar, Kool-Aid packets, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, cereals, cold cuts, cheese and canned sausages.
The pantry relies on cash donations and food donations that come from food drives or annual giving like the local Methodist Men’s Club. The Methodist Men’s and the Holly Springs postal employees’ food drives helps provide large amounts of food for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Snap-On-Tools in Olive Branch delivered a collection of food last week to the shelter, the first drive it has backed here, Curry said.
And local fund-raisers have helped provide operating money for the village. Those fund-raisers typically consist of catfish plates and smoked Boston butts or barbecue.
For more about services or how to make tax deductible donations or deliveries of collected foods, call Curry at the shelter at 662-252-4688.
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