MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Several groups teamed-up to feed families in need and spread some holiday cheer in Moss Point. The holiday food giveaway on Wednesday touched many lives in Jackson County.
About 5,000 pounds of food arrived at the Moss Point Riverfront Community Center. There were 500 canned goods, 120 gallons of milk, 589 frozen meat products, and so much more to give away.
"This is a $25 turkey right here, comes with a side of ground beef," Jhai Keeton said as he showed the contents of a big box.
Volunteers sorted and packed all the groceries into 155-boxes.
"It was kind of hectic. It was a lot of stuff. We were like, 'Oh my gosh, it was a little overwhelming.' But it was fun and great knowing that we're out here helping people who need this," said Moss Point High Senior Raeia Bailey.
Hands On Mississippi, the citizens group "#onPoint", and the city of Moss Point organized the first "Helping Hands Food Drop" in Jackson County. The food came from the Bay Area Food Bank, and donated by local grocery stores.
"We don't want this food to go into a trash can. It needs to go into the hands of individuals and especially this time of year, when we're living paycheck to paycheck, trying to buy groceries, and gifts and things like that," said Hands On Mississippi Executive Director Holly Gibbs.
Outside, the line started forming four hours before the food distribution. Alfred Robinson was the first in line.
"I figured it was going to be a long line, so I figured if I got on here, I'd be the first one," said Robinson.
"I've been here awhile and I'm going to be here until the end 'til I get my box out of there, yes ma'am," said Moss Point Resident Mary Newsome. "I'm very excited. Everybody else might be ashamed, but I'm a very blessed woman. I'm here to represent the drop."
At 2:00 p.m., tickets were distributed to those waiting in line. Each person who received a ticket got to take home a box of food. The only requirement was they had to prove they live in Jackson County.
"It's a blessing to me because I am a disabled person and the little money I do have, I have to pay it on bills, doctor bills. So this food will help me over the next three days," said Newsome.
When asked how it felt to receive the food, one woman replied, "Oh, it's beautiful, beautiful."
Another woman said "It's wonderful! I appreciate it."
"They're excited to see something going on in Moss Point of this nature and they're really embracing it. So I'm glad to be able to bless people," said #onPoint Co-Founder Jhai Keeton.
"You're allowing someone to go buy a gift for their child, or buy their medicine or things like that. They have food on their table, so it's definitely a heart felt give around the holidays," said Gibbs.
Hands On Mississippi will hold another food distribution next month in Hancock County.