10,000 pounds of food aid oil affected families

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Elizabeth Vowell – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – "Since the oil spill we haven't been able to generate any income and I've been having a hard time paying bills and my family is struggling mightily at this point," said Vietnamese Shrimper Sung Win through a translator.

Testimonies like Win's are becoming common for families in the fishing industry since the oil spill left them unable to work.

However, Friday 10,000 pounds of food at a mobile pantry made things a little easier for some of these families.

"We see smiles, we see people that have been going through a lot and they're panicking honestly.  When we bring food in to them honestly, we are giving them a little hope in an economy that is really bad right now," said Bay Area Food Bank representative Jennifer Whiddon.

Around 250 families stricken by the oil spill received food.  The pantry was funded through a Pepsi Refresh Project Grant won by the Bay Area Food Bank.

Organizers say this won't be the last mobile pantry.  There are at least 100 other families on a waiting list to receive food.

"Our mission is to empower, to assist them out here. This is one of the things that we're here to make sure that everyone is taken care of, and I know that this is a great hardship for them.  This is just a small step for them to help them fully recover from the oil spill," said Danny Lee of Boat People SOS.

To participate, a family had register with Boat People SOS.

The mobile food pantry passed out everything from bread to canned foods to back packs for children.

"This is our community we are all affected by the oil spill so being able to help our neighbors and the folks in our back yard, that makes us feel really good," said Whiddon.

According to Lee, all communities affected by the spill are welcome to participate.  He expects the next food drive to be at the end of August.

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