When First United Methodist Church’s Food Pantry coordinators in Fulton, Mississippi, were presented with the opportunity to host a Mobile Pantry distribution, they said yes - with smiles. The Partner Agency’s volunteers knew how significant the extra food would mean to the 400 households who arrived early for the distribution on March 22.
The food insecurity rate in Itawamba County is 14 percent. Its residents describe the small community as one that’s divided by the Tennessee River but otherwise united by neighbors helping neighbors.
The pantry assists about 400 households monthly, an amount that has decreased by nearly 100 over the past year. “The pantry helps people of all ages, and some of the clients we have gotten to know so well we know the names of their pets,” said volunteer Angelia Gough.
About 10 volunteers dedicated a half day for the distribution comprised of 13,000 pounds of chicken, apples and oranges, bread, carrots and lettuce, among other goods. Clients waited patiently, including Corey Harris and Heather Pierce, parents of two, who have visited the pantry monthly for about two years.
“The assistance almost gets us through one month to the next one. This (mobile) help will ensure we can without worries,” said Pierce.
Mid-South Food Bank Agency Relations Manager Belynda Terry complimented the response that Fulton’s pantry made to help with the mobile pantry. Without its assistance the distribution would have been impossible to happen, she said.
“Because the pantry is so invested in helping the community, and because they are dedicated, they didn’t hesitate,” Terry said.