Pine Belt organizations face challenges fighting food insecurity

Pine Belt area charities are running into issues with rising food costs and supply chain disruptions.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 8:42 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The White House announced more than $8 billion in new commitments to combat hunger and improve nutrition, which is good news for Pine Belt organizations that feed the hungry every day.

The folks at Christian Services and Edwards Street Fellowship Center said they’re facing new challenges fighting food insecurity.

Maggie West, executive director of Christian Services, said they’re getting less food from local grocers who send them their excess supplies.

And food donations are also down at the Edwards Street Fellowship Center’s food pantry.

However, both organizations are finding ways to keep serving local needs.

“We do have donations and donors, and we do have some money budgeted for food in a time like this,” said West. “That’s always been because we’re not going to let someone go hungry, so we’re going to always provide for that.”

Ann McCullen, executive director of Edward’s Street, said they must get creative to deal with the shortages.

“There are so many good folks, corporations and individuals who donate financially, and we purchase a lot of food,” said McCullen. “We look for the bargains everywhere we can get them, but we have seen a decrease in donations from individuals and even through food collection drives.”

Christian Services operates a soup kitchen, a meals-on-wheels program and provides emergency food boxes.

The Edwards Street Fellowship Center operates a food pantry providing food bags to about 1,800 families monthly.

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