GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport food pantry is asking the community for help.
Pantries like Gulf Coast Community Ministries make a huge impact in the lives of those in need in South Mississippi. Now, this organization is asking for help from the community.
The food pantry is running short on supplies. It's open 50 weeks out of the year, and director Natalie Atkins says an average of 100 families a week are helped through the pantry.
"We have not had this kind of a shortage in a couple of years," said Atkins. "For what reason, I don't know. I know that our monetary donations have not been what they had been. Everybody's budgets are tight, but we could use the help because we are helping others who don't even have a budget to be tight."
Atkins says there were more than 9,000 people helped by the food pantry in 2017. That's 600 more than 2016. She says that number is already trending up for this year.
She encourages schools, churches, and other organizations to hold food drives of their own to help out.
Non-perishable foods or monetary donations can be dropped off at Gulf Coast Community Ministries on 15th Street in Gulfport on Tuesdays and Thursdays before noon.