Help stock the shelves of local pantries

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - One South Mississippi man spent most of his Father's Day preparing to help those in need. Since 1984 the Long Beach Community Food Pantry has helped countless South Mississippi families. For the past ten years, Franklin Williams has spearheaded the effort.

"We have a very large area that we take care of," said Williams.

The Long Beach pantry has already served more than 1,800 families this year.

"We're seeing about a 25 percent increase in customers and with the layoffs that are starting to happen, we're getting more and more," said Williams.

With unemployment on the rise, there's been a 48 percent increase in the number of food requests. That's why many local pantries say they are always in need of donations.

"The local Boy Scout troop has a drive for us in November," said Williams. "The letter carriers has a drive on Mother's Day weekend."

The United Way of South Mississippi and Volunteer Gulf Coast are the newest contributors. This week, the non-profits are asking South Mississippians to adopt a local food bank. The organizations hope the week-long effort will help re-stock the shelves of local pantries and inspire those who can give, to help those in need. That way no South Mississippi man, woman or child will ever go hungry.

There are several non-profits in the South Mississippi area:

  • Salvation Army
  • St. Vincent de Paul
  • Our Lady of Fatima
  • Back Bay Mission
  • Long Beach Community Food Pantry
  • de l'Epee Deaf Center
  • Hancock Do. Food Pantry

The pantries ask that people donate non-perishable food items. Below is a list of suggested items:

  • Cereal
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Cooking oil
  • Cereal
  • Rice
  • Dried Beans
  • Spaghetti
  • Canned Fruit
  • Tuna Helper
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Powdered Milk

For more information on how to adopt a pantry and make your delivery, call Volunteer Gulf Coast at (2280 896-0073.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.