Food pantries look forward to the holiday seasons for extra food

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Food Insecurity is a growing issue in the area, and food pantries are doing their best to fill the gap.

But lately, they’ve been finding that the need is greater than their resources.

Every day in North Mississippi there are adults and children who go to bed hungry every night.

Nonprofit organizations like Helping Hands try their best to fill that hunger gap but sometimes the shelves aren’t full enough to fill the need.

That’s why food pantries look forward to things like holiday can drives and food donations to help them stock the shelves. But the need is always there.

Food pantries are continuously stocking their shelves but as soon as they fill them up people are grabbing what they need.

Jennifer Garrard, Executive Director of Helping Hands in Columbus says that with the holidays around the corner, food pantries are anticipating an overflow in food.

“This time of the year we know people are doing food drives for the holidays with thanksgiving and Christmas coming up which we are so thankful for and we get so excited knowing that food is coming in, but the sad part this year is that we have been very very low on food around June,” said Garrard.

Garrard says as food and gas prices increase so do their clients.

“We are seeing more new clients and families for food that have never been here before because they say their money is not reaching far enough at the grocery stores but that’s why we tell them we are here for that to fill in the gaps but we are running low on the regular staples that are normally stocked well on the shelves,” said Garrard.

And Other pantries in the Golden Triangle are seeing similar issues.

R.H Brown Director of Living Manna Food Pantry in West Point says there are around 100 families asking for help every month.

“Its a necessity to supplement their income yes they do come to us frequently and the lines are long matter of fact the lines usually stretch from here to the store around the corner and there is certainly a need because of financial situations,” said Brown.

And Brown says some families are finding themselves needing a little boost to make it to the next pay period.

“The prices are so high and we don’t only have just low-income families coming and needing food we are also seeing people that need just a little extra just to get by so the need is there and think it’s because of the prices,” said Brown.

And as more families come, Garrard says even their daily canned goods are leaving the shelves.

“Historically the joke has been that the pantry may be low on food but you will always have green beans and corn but around June we got low of whole kernel corn and we were like oh no what’s going on,” said Garrard.

With the holidays right around the corner, Garrard is holding out for a miracle.

“We are praying that they will be filled and we have people wanting to help so we have faith that the food will come in so it can go right back out and we are ready for it because these empty spaces need to be filled,” said Garrard.

Garrard says they accept donations all year long.

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