Christian Services distributes free food boxes

Needy families receive free food boxes Saturday from Christian Services in Hattiesburg.
Needy families receive free food boxes Saturday from Christian Services in Hattiesburg.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Dozens of low income families in the Pine Belt were able to put food on the table Saturday night, thanks to a local Christian charity that's having to come up with new and innovative ways to fight hunger in bad economic times. Those families made their way to Christian Services for a free grocery box give-away.

In years past, Christian Services partnered with Angel Food Ministries to help needy families purchase food at greatly discounted prices. But last September, that organization shut down.

So, now the management and staff at the Hattiessburg-based charity are having to rely on local businesses and volunteers to help feed families.

Many of those businesses and volunteers helped make Saturday's grocery give-away possible. About 100 families received food boxes during the event, including the Terrill Smith family of Hattiesburg.

"It's real nice," said Smith. "Everybody needs it. It's hard times, I know I need it," Smith said.

"What else to say, other than wonderful," said Sue Ogden, another recipient of a grocery box. "These people bring a blessing to families that struggle everyday," Ogden said.

Although dozens of families were helped, dozens more went away empty-handed, because the supply of food ran out a short time after the give-away began. 

"It's heartbreaking to have to turn so many people away," said Elaine Hartfield, director of outreach and ministry development for Christian Services, Inc. "But it's also enlightening because it shows us that there is a significant need. We just believe in God, that next time, it will be bigger and He has provided. Where there's a will, there's always a provision," Hartfield said.

Christian Services also hosted a similar grocery give-away in November.

Copyright 2012 WDAM. All rights reserved.