Thanks to a $25,000 grant from Tyson Foods, Mid-South Food Bank held, with critical help from volunteers, a Mobile Pantry food distribution on April 29th in Newbern, Tennessee. Boxes full of fruit, meats, vegetables and bakery items totaling over 10,000 lbs. were provided for residents of Dyer County, including employees of the local Tyson Foods plant.
It was the first of monthly distributions for a year. The first one helped 252 households, while the future ones could help up to 300 in a county where the food insecurity rate, according to Feeding America, is 16 percent. The Mobile Pantries will supplement the outstanding need.
Mid-South Food Bank’s service area includes 31 counties. In Dyer, it distributes an average of 32,000 pounds of food monthly to four Partner Agencies, Dyersburg Christian Center, Matthew 25:40 and Word of Faith, which recruited its pantry’s volunteers for the event.
Several Tyson employees were on hand to volunteer at the distribution, held at the Oakhaven Recreation Center, including Tyson plant manager Stan Welch. “We’re proud to support the Mid-South Food Bank and its mission to fight hunger,” he said. “Equipping our partners with the resources to address food insecurity through mobile pantries is a critical part of our hunger relief strategy.”
Also on hand was Newbern Mayor Pam Mabry, who helped direct traffic along with local police. She said watching families get help was inspiring, and noted that while efforts are underway to help repair some of the town’s infrastructure, like sidewalks and roads, the Mobile Pantry similarly addresses a need, but one more critical.
“It’s great seeing the response to help each other. With this, you don’ have to wait on a tragedy to see a community’s hospitality and love for one another,” she said.