Robert St. John is working to help Smithville residents - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Robert St. John is working to help Smithville residents

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - Hattiesburg chef and author, Robert St. John is working to help feed the residents of Smithville, Mississippi that were so deeply impacted by last weeks deadly tornado.

Through the charity he founded named, Extra Table, St. John is encouraging monetary donations this week to the non-profit organization.

Typically Extra Table raises funds to support local food pantries and soup kitchens. However, in the wake of the devastation in Smithville, St. John explained that all donations through next Tuesday will benefit the residents of that community.

The Monroe County town was ravaged by last weeks tornado outbreak and more than 125 homes were completely destroyed by the storm. Fifteen people in Smithville lost their lives due to the extreme weather.

Robert St. John said he is traveling to Smithville next Wednesday to drop off the food donations at a Red Cross supply distribution area.

According to St. John, "I'm going to just rent a truck and drive up and pick up as much food as we purchased and our restaurants are giving and I'm giving personally. And so I challenge anybody, please give because there is a huge need up there and give so much that we have to make two trips. That would make me happy if I had to make two trips up, that we had so much food."

St. John said there are two ways people can give to Extra Table. The first is by logging onto www.extratable.org and clicking on the donation link. Another option is by logging onto the Greater Pine Belt Community Foundation which manages Extra Table and specify that organization. Their link is www.pinebeltfoundation.org.

Copyright 2011 WDAM. All rights reserved.

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