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Downtown Hattiesburg businesses host canned food drive for Christian Services

Shoppers earn discounts by donating goods
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:09 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Downtown business owners in Hattiesburg are in the giving spirit the week of Thanksgiving. They plan to offer discounts to shoppers who donate to canned food drive boxes at the stores.

Adrienne Hicks, owner of Blooms Co. says she wanted to gather downtown together in the spirit of the holiday.

“As we tried to decide, who are we going to partner with, how are we going to contribute and what organization and it just made sense, because they’re in our backyard, they’re downtown. And so it just made sense for us to choose Christian Services,” Hicks says.

Christian Services has been blessing people in need in Hattiesburg for more than 30 years. This year, Executive Director Maggie West says they’re extra thankful for their neighbors’ help.

“All the places around here that are just going to continue to just plant into the downtown of Hattiesburg. It’s amazing, especially with this food shortage and which we’ve talked about but it couldn’t be a better time, to help us to get into this next season and bless as many families as possible,” she says.

Hicks says each store will offer different promotions for shoppers who bring in canned goods. You can check stores’ social media to see their promotions or ask at the register. Some will also donate a percentage of sales this week to Christian Services. She says knowing the supply chain issues have also impacted food pantries and soup kitchens means people need to be thoughtful now more than ever.

“When we go to the grocery store, and you see empty shelves, you know that that impact still kind of trickles down,” Hicks explains.

The drive lasts through the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is Shop Small Businesses Saturday.

“It just only made sense for it to be a day that people are coming out there supporting local... then it just made sense to give back in some way. And then the anticipation is that we’ll continue to partner with them and fill those needs throughout the year not just during the holidays,” says Hicks.

West says Christian Services is thankful to be a part of the downtown community and looks forward to collaboration throughout the year with local businesses.

“I just want to remind everybody that we are here every day, regardless of if it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, and you know that we’re thankful 365 days out of the year. Even though we still look like a warehouse, there’s just love inside these doors. And so part of that is part of that whole downtown revitalization,” she says.

Downtown business owners say shopping local and donating to local charities go hand in hand. They encourage you to shop local this holiday season and donate to local charities as well.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a partnership and giving back or if it’s just partnership in general. But downtown businesses, it’s like when you all come together and you’re all doing something it just kind of makes things stronger and more unified,” says Hicks. “And that’s kind of our hope is that we unify downtown and bring in that organization. Again, that is part of downtown and how we include them and how we incorporate our giving back to our community but keeping it local and keeping it to our area and to downtown.”.

Christian Services will have its annual Thanksgiving meal Tuesday, Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their building downtown.

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