PINE BELT (WDAM) - "Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year! As we celebrate family and friendship, most of us look forward to enjoying lots of delicious food," said Ann McCullen, executive director of Edwards Street Fellowship.
However, many of us have become numb to the statistics about hunger among our fellow Mississippians. It's hard to believe that here in Mississippi, one in five of our neighbors are food insecure, meaning they don't have reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.
When we look into the faces of children in our community, we should be aware that one in four Mississippi children live in households that experience uncertainty about the source of their meals for the following day.
If these statistics seem overwhelming, please know that you can make a difference! While doing your grocery shopping, you can buy extra canned goods for a local food pantry, like Edwards Street Fellowship Center. If you're really ambitious, you can organize a food drive at your place of work or in your neighborhood. You can help serve a meal at the Christian Services soup kitchen.
You might want to take your child with you to ring the bell at a Salvation Army red kettle to raise funds for meals at their shelter.
You can even mail a financial contribution to Extra Table, which supports feeding agencies all over Mississippi. There are so many great organizations across the Pine Belt that reach out to neighbors in need - not just during the holiday season but every month of the year.
We are blessed to live in a state known for its generosity. This year, I invite you to find new ways to touch lives of hungry and food insecure children and adults in our community.
Thank you for helping everyone in our midst have reason to give thanks this year.