Pine Belt food banks see post-holiday decline in donations

Local food pantries running low
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 8:37 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Local food pantries are running short on donations.

Administrators at some Pine Belt food banks say donations usually decline right after the holidays.

“Standing food drives that happen every year, we are still receiving food, but in much, much smaller volume than we normally would,” said Ann McCullen, executive director of the Edwards Street Fellowship Center.

“People don’t have the money.”

At the Petal Children’s Task Force, the folks there say they get extra help from churches and other organizations.

“At the end of the year, people are saying ‘OK, I’ll give money,’” said Demaris Lee, executive director of the Petal Children’s Task Force. “We are a 501(c)(3), and it is tax-deductible, and a lot of times, they’ll get it in before December.

“But In January, when we do not have food, then it’s really critical that we have the money to buy the food and the donations are not like they were before Christmas.”

McCullen says funding from grants and the United Way, along with support from corporate partners, is helping them assist families in need.

“It’s that whole premise, ‘It takes a village,’ and if everybody does a little something, then the needle moves in the right direction and we’re so grateful,” McCullen said.

In Petal a 5-K run called the “Lighthouse Dash” also brings in thousands of dollars to buy food.

“(With) God’s help, we always manage to get through it,” Lee said. “We wonder if we’re going to have enough and most of the time, we get through it.”

The Edwards Street Fellowship Center provides food bags for about 1,600 families each month.

The Petal Children’s Task Force supplies food boxes to more than 500 families every month.

Want more WDAM 7 news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.