Biloxi church, food bank give away 10,000 pounds of food

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) – Dozens of families in Biloxi have plenty of food to re-stock their pantries. On Tuesday, New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church on Main Street and the Bay Area Food Bank of Alabama teamed-up to give away 10,000 pounds of food.

The tables were stacked high with loaves of bread, a variety of canned goods, and boxes upon boxes of breakfast favorites.  Dozens of people in need lined up to fill their boxes with fresh eggs, pastries, even baby food.

"It's a lot. I didn't know it was going to be this much here," Kiara Gordon commented on the amount of food.

Kiara was picking up free food for her very, big family.

"There's almost 14," she said. "There's a lot of us and this just helps us out. We're struggling, so this helps a lot."

It was the first time New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Biloxi partnered with the Bay Area Food Bank's mobile pantry program.

"The holidays are here. People are still feeling the effects of the oil spill and they need food. That's one thing that we are bringing to this community," said Jennifer Whiddon, Bay Area Food Bank's Programs Coordinator.

"It's a blessing for us," said Glenda Williams, the Pantry Director at New Bethel. "We have people that's coming and saying, 'I don't have food for the holidays.' I said, 'Just wait, we got some food coming.' God has blessed us."

That blessing totals 10,000 pounds of food, all collected during food drives and donated by grocery stores. About 200 people went through the line Tuesday and 80 people were on the waiting list.  The groups gave away all 10,000 pounds of food within four hours.

"Sometimes just bringing food and filling people's stomachs actually gives them hope," said Whiddon.

"I think it's nice, because I need it," said Saddie Moss of Biloxi. "I'm going to eat it and I praise and thank y'all for doing it. God bless you."

The food distribution was also sponsored by the Pepsi Refresh Grant. The church is working with the Bay Area Food Bank to hold another food giveaway in the coming months.

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