Hands On Mississippi donates 5,000 pounds of food

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - On Wednesday at the D'Iberville Civic Center thousands of pounds of food was donated to 220 people in Harrison County. It was all thanks to the non-profit Hands On Mississippi's Helping Hands Food Distribution Program.

The organization received the food through a grant through the Bay Area Food Bank in Mobile, Alabama. Volunteers say the drive sheds light on the struggles working people still face to put food on the table.

Five thousand pounds of food stuffed into bags and boxes have hundreds of people waiting in line to receive breakfast, lunch and dinner for free.

"I hope we get some meat and some good stuff," said Warren Broussard.

According to Hands On Mississippi, being a resident of Harrison County was the only criteria for the free meals.

"You can be young, old, work, not work, and have five people in your family or just yourself. We don't care. We're not discriminating, the fact that if you will come here and let us know you need food, you need it. You may live pay check to paycheck, you may just have a need today," said Hands On Mississippi Executive Director Holly Gibbs.

Volunteers from all over assist in packing and distributing the food including Sharon Hanshaw with Coastal Women For Change. Hanshaw says working with those in need on a daily basis taught her a job doesn't mean you can put food on the table.

"This is what I call the working poor. You work every day. You pay your taxes, but you still don't have enough to meet the needs of your family. So we're just giving back to make sure that we share the food because really their income is not enough to buy the food for the month," said Sharon Hanshaw who is the Executive Director Coastal Women for Change.

"Money is limited and with only working two days a week my paycheck really isn't that much," said food drive recipient Lena Davis.

During the drive food drive recipients filled a questionnaire so the non-profit could better understand where the needs lie in the community.

"We're collecting data right now to really get to the beef of the problem and see if it's more families or individuals verses the other," said Gibbs.

This is the first of three other food drives Hands On Mississippi wants to hold this year.

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