Christian Services offers new food program - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Christian Services offers new food program

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Statistics show that the Magnolia State is the highest in obesity, but one of the poorest in the country. So how is that possible with residents going hungry?

A recent study shows the state has the  highest percentage of households unable to afford enough food for a healthy lifestyle. Sounds like a contradiction, right?

"Not necessarily, the problem is that healthy food is expensive," said Wesley Medical Group, Family Physician, Dr. Lara Otaigbe.

According to Dr. Otaigbe, for a healthy diet you need fresh fruit and vegetables, in other words the most costly foods in the grocery store. So, what do we buy?

"So, most people are more likely to purchase processed foods, bag foods, canned foods, and those tend to be loaded with calories and fat, and that is what leads to obesity problems, in addition to a lack of exercise," said Otaigbe.

The paradox doesn't end there. Otaigbe says she has noticed another problem.

"Especially for my patients who do have a hunger problem, cause I do see patients who have that problem," said Otaigbe.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 2008 to 2010 14.6 percent of U.S. Households sometimes go without food because of a lack of money or other resources. Mississippi had the highest rate with 19.4 percent. Here in the Pine Belt there is a program hoping to make a dent in that statistic.

"This food program is called One Harvest," said Christian Services, Cookie Prout.

It's all boxes of high quality fresh frozen food, Prout says there is an added benefit.

"The boxes can be purchased for 30 to 50 percent less than a family would pay in a grocery store," said Prout.

There are seven options, all are under 50 dollars, with a variety of meats, and vegetables inside. Prout says the family box can feed a family of four for a week, and another box holds up to its name, "More than Enough." Prout says this food will help any family stretch limited resources in this economy.

"We want people to understand that there is no qualifications for this program. You don't have to place an application, you don't have to tell me what you are going through. You just have to pay for it, and you can come back and pick it up," said Prout.

All of this won't take care of the problem state wide, but it's a start.

To purchase a One Harvest Food Box call Christian Services at 601-582-5683. Christian Services accepts cash, check or EBT cards. Deadline to order in the Christian Service office is August 16. Distribution is 9:30 to 11 a.m. on August 25.

To order online with a credit or debit card go to www.oneharvest.com . All online orders are due by August 19.

 

 

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