Food pantries increase in giving as many begin return to work

Food pantries increase in giving as many begin return to work

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Soup kitchens and food pantries are handing out more food daily as people try to get back on their feet.

“Christian Services is still here, but more importantly, God is still providing for their needs for the todays and then planning for their needs for the tomorrows. It’s not over,” said Jim Prout, president and CEO of Christian Services.

Work has not slowed down for Christian Services in Hattiesburg, as businesses reopen and people go back to work trying to regain what they lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have the working man that’s trying to rebuild what they’ve lost over time, and not putting it into the bank and saving it necessarily. But just trying to get those bills caught up, trying to get life back in order," Prout said. “And we’ve seen so many people coming in and going ‘My job started back today or starts back Monday. But we need something for right now and my check won’t get here for another week or two.’ And so the need is still very real and very large."

Stout broke down just how much of an increase Christian Services has seen in meals prepared each day.

“We’ve seen it increase each day from about 600 approximately each day. We’ve increased that and started serving closer to 800, 850 each day going out, because we are serving here at these drive-thrus, we are still serving to the Meals on Wheels recipients, which has also increased,” Prout said.

The Good Samaritan Soup Kitchen in Laurel is also seeing an increase in giving as communities try to return to normal.

“We served 300 plates to adults and 50 to kids, and today I think they’re probably going to go over that because it’s only 12 o’clock and they’ve already served 250 just to two adults,” said Good Samaritan Center Case Manager Sybil Sprouse. “And if you’re hungry, please come see us, because we don’t want anybody going hungry.”

If you live in Laurel and you are in need of food you can reach out to the Good Samaritan soup kitchen at 601-426-3963. If you live in Hattiesburg, you can reach out to Christian Services at 601-582-5683.

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