Teaming up to fight hunger

By FLOYD INGRAM / THE PRESS REGISTER,

 

The Care Station and Mid-South Food Bank are giving a “One! Two!” punch to hunger in Coahoma County.

The Mid-South Food Bank (MSFB) hosted a food giveaway Thursday at the Expo Center barn and the Care Station, on Monday, hosted its fourth food pantry, giving away more than 25,000-pounds of food.

“I want to thank our volunteers who really help us with the logistics of getting the food to people at these events,” said Charles Estess, Executive Director of the Care Station. “I don’t think people realize how much physical work this is. It couldn’t be done without people showing up and doing their job.”

The 12.5-tons of food distributed by Care Station included milk, bread, fruit, vegetables, meat and a variety of dry and packaged food.

On Thursday the MSFB saw Clarksdale Police and Fire Department volunteers give out a produce and dairy box to anyone who drove up to their food give-away, also held at the Expo Center.

“Our plan is to do this every week through December,” said Bill Blackwelder, local coordinator for Thursday’s event. “We started this by contacting local law enforcement and they have been instrumental in providing the people and assistance to get this done.”

There are differences in both programs.

The MSFB program doesn’t place any qualifications on who gets food. The cars line up in the Expo Center parking lot and each car gets a produce and dairy box, until the food runs out.

MSFB gets the bulk their food for this program from the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box, a program aimed at putting farmers and distributors back to work while supporting food banks and faith-based organizations.

The Care Station has been a trusted Clarksdale agency feeding local people for more than 30 years.

Care Station has a program where anyone can get a noon meal, but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed that service. Care Station has continuted to feed people but has also hosted it food box program since March.

Care Station boxes are more varied in content and are designed to last about a week.

Care Station has always kept records on who is getting its food so donors can see where their dollars go. Vouchers are needed to obtain Care Station groceries.

The next Care Station grocery give-away will be Tuesday, Aug. 18 at the Expo Barn.

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