Hattiesburg organization asks for help feeding hungry - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg organization asks for help feeding hungry


Five days a week Hattiesburg's Christian Services serves or delivers about 600 meals to folks in need. But in the last months, it has been forced to suspend its food box program; the program provided mainly to families, many with children, that now will go without, says Bill Prout who runs the service with his wife Cookie.

"We had people from Lumberton, Richton, Poplarville, Picayune, Collins, all around," says Prout. "We told them we said this food give away, these boxes, are worth about 40 or 50 dollars so it's not a big deal. And their response was 'Yea it really is a big deal, because I need the food'."

The box program served folks in November and again in January, but then it came time for February's boxed food giveaway.

"We turned 100 families away that day," says Prout. "And that's when Cookie and I really go to the point that we knew we had to do something."

They have not done a giveaway since.

Prout says at one point, the Christian Services building freezer was full, packed up to the door. Now, it holds just a couple hundred boxes.

Donations are enough to pack the week's meals, but for the box program, bulk donations that generally come from companies are key.

"We're looking at the different places in the Hattiesburg and Laurel trade area that we can look at," said Prout. "The different chicken plants, the different wholesalers like Sysco that hand out these larger amounts of food. If we can get it in, we have the storage facilities, we have the manpower to do it, the only thing that we don't have is the bulk."

The organization is always looking for donations and receive the bulk of their food used to help feed folks in need from bulk donations from stores like Sam's Club and Wal-Mart, giving away what they have not sold. They do it of course for the tax write off, but also to help a community in need.

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