The COVID-19 crisis has been going on for five months and Care Station will host its fifth food giveaway next week.
Care Station has been giving away roughly 20,000 pound of food at each of its massive events and the Tuesday, Aug. 18 event at the Expo Center on Wildcat Drive should be no different.
“I want people to know our volunteers have struggled during this pandemic, but they have been so faithful,” said Charles Estess, Care Station director. “We’ve had several of our veteran volunteer come down with COVID and the others have had to step up.
Estess said he has had to ponder the risks and listen to his volunteers.
“I’m proud of the bunch we have,” he added. “They don’t want to stop this because they realize how important it is to the community and the people we serve.”
Tuesday morning’s distribution goes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with vehicle asked to line up as usual and occupants to say inside their car.
Estess estimates more than 500 vehicles have rolled through the line the past four times. He expects that many or more on Tuesday.
The sacks of meat, vegetables, canned goods and breads will only be handed out to Coahoma County residents.
“One of the reasons the food bank out of Memphis likes us is we have records – the numbers they need to prove they are being effective,” said Estess. “It’s not that hard to qualify.
Food sacks will be distributed to vehicles and all – recipients and volunteers -- were required to wear protective masks.
Only three vouchers were served per car and no more than three households per car. Registration started before the distribution and vehicles were asked to line up and occupants had to stay in their car or truck.
The mobile food pantry is open and free to all residents who qualify for:
• SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits or food stamps.
• Home Energy Assistance from CPU, Coahoma Opportunity or any energy provider.
• SSI (Supplemental Security Income).
• Public Housing.
• TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
Those wanting to be served can also complete and sign a self-declaration of income statement showing total home income below the poverty line to receive food.
Food distribution was on a first-come, first-served basis as long as food lasted.
The Care Station has fed people daily in Clarksdale for more than 30 years and has conducted several of these mobile pantry food distribution events since March.
Those wanting to donate to Care Station can call 662-902-4066.