BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - "Some of our elementary schools had a need for food. They were running a little short and having some trouble filling some bags. I thought, what a great idea to give them fresh food and not just shelf stable items to go home with," said Holly Gibbs, Executive Director of Hands On Mississippi.
Gibbs says it's an immediate gratification knowing the donated items will go home with children whose families struggle to keep food on the table. The program was started by Lighthouse Full Gospel Fellowship.
"We give them food on Friday's in a backpack so they can take it home. They have three meals for Saturday and Sunday and snacks, so there's six meals plus snacks for both days," the Rev. Michael Borries said.
As volunteers sorted out and stuffed bags with fresh produce, they said knowing their efforts will benefit others is rewarding.
"It's very touching, and it's something that I've always wanted to do, and I'm just very blessed that I'm able to do that," Sharon Dennis said.
"I love to do it, because when we go home on the weekends, we know that children will have food to eat when they may otherwise not have anything," Laura Stockard said.
Borries said even though they've been doing this for just a few years, the growth is exciting, and as long as they're blessed to receive big food donations like this, they can continue to bless others in the community.
"It's amazing. It really is, and it's only by the grace of God that we can do this. We're a relatively small church, and here the Lord God has poured out his blessings to be able to bless these children," Borries said with a smile.
For more information on how to become a sponsor or Hands On Mississippi volunteer, visit: http://www.handsonmississippi.org/