‘Big Hope’ mobile pantry to feed families in Marion, Walthall, Lamar counties

Mobile food pantry to bring help where it's needed
Published: Jun. 3, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
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COLUMBIA, Miss. (WDAM) - A new mobile resource has become available for some families in the Pine Belt who are facing food insecurity.

Two organizations, Hope Community Collective and Save the Children, have outfitted a mobile food pantry called “Big Hope,” and it will provide both hot meals and groceries to hungry families.

“Big Hope” is designed to bring supplemental food and groceries into rural and hard-to-reach areas in Marion County, Walthall County, even Lamar (County), just areas where people really need support in the area of food insecurity,” said Julie Martinez, Hope Community Collective executive director.

Saturday, a launch party for “Big Hope” was held at Friendship Park.

“We know that if children are hungry for food, that they can’t be hungry for knowledge,” said Sheena Weatherford, Save the Children advisor. “So, we’ve partnered with Hope Community Collective to provide the funding, so that we could have the mobile unit that could go into the homes of families that can go out there and reach families and provide kids with nutritious meals.”

The truck was a “big” hit with folks who attended that event.

“It’s just a great thing that they’re doing this and they’re taking food out and taking it to homes and all that,” said Tyeland Coleman of Columbia.

Program coordinators currently are looking for locations where “Big Hope” can set up on a regular basis.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Drew Nagy of Hattiesburg. “We have people that are unable to drive or get transportation to the food pantries and are going hungry.”

If you’d like to donate to the program, call (601) 724-3628 or check out hopecommunitycollective.com.

“A lot of times, there are older children that are at home because their moms or dads have to work during the summer and I think it’s an awesome idea to give food to people and children,” said Demetra Lofton of Columbia.

Organizations can be reached on Facebook or Instagram as well.

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