Pantries low on food: Local school and sheriff’s department team up to help

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – While many people are flooding the grocery stores stocking up for big holiday dinners, some of their neighbors are finding it hard to afford the everyday essentials.

In Columbus, a local school and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office are partnering to help them out.

There are 25 neighborhood pantries throughout Lowndes County, and they all have something in common: they’re low on food.

“We were on our last in our pantry,” said Lt. Rhonda Sanders, Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

Empty shelves, little to no food left. The neighborhood pantries around Lowndes County could use some restocking.

“These pantries are put up for families that fall short during the month on food. So, they are able to go out to these pantries and feed their families,” said Sanders.

Sanders said the sheriff’s office is trying to bridge the gap. So, they partnered with Fairview Elementary to teach a needed lesson in giving.

“People may not just need a hand out they need a hand up. You never know what emergency might come up in the family that they budget for months and this is how much they can spend. Some people just don’t have it. It’s not that they are not out working hard and trying to provide for their families,” said Sanders.

The Fairview Elementary students took this as their lesson and put it into action, gathering over 1,800 canned goods to replenish the empty pantries. Fairview’s Principal Monte Ewing Johnson said she hoped those who can help would tag along.

“I hope that it ignites something in people that makes them want to give back, to see the need. If there’s a need, they see the need. And it’s a call to action because if these children in Pre-K to fifth grade can be called to action to serve their community, then what else are the rest of us doing? We must take action,” said Johnson.

And fifth grader Joyce Aiolla said this is one assignment she will never forget.

“Giving back to the community makes me feel happy that we can share the love with others who may not have enough to eat during this Thanksgiving break,” said Aiolla.

If you want to give to the neighborhood pantries, you can drop off non-perishable items at the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office lobby Monday through Friday.

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