LUCEDALE, Miss. (WLOX) - Hundreds of families lined up Wednesday for a food distribution program in Lucedale. The federal program handed out boxes with meat, vegetables, cheese and milk.
Tammie Dunn and her father drove to Lucedale from Leakesville in Greene County to pick up a box of food and gallons of milk for each of them.
Behind them were more than 100 cars, filled with people in need of food to help make ends meet. Ahead of them, were church vans that were loaded up with extra boxes to distribute.
“I feel blessed to be have these opportunities to get this kind of stuff,” Dunn said.
“We have so many elderly and people that do not have transportation that go to the different churches, and they’re not able to come out, so we try and serve the churches first and they will go back and distribute the boxes to people who are not able to come out," said Marion Gaines from the Lucedale Church of God and Christ.
The long line of cars was an indication of how large the need for help is because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s the same everywhere, a lot of need,” said Linda Eckford from the Lucedale Church of God and Christ.
“We’ve got so many people that are out of jobs and they just don’t have the finances and so if we can furnish them a meal, then it’s a blessing," Gaines added.
The distribution is part of a federal program called “Farmers to Families,” and it was set up by the USDA to help farmers hurt by the pandemic and get the food to families in need of help.
Feeding the Gulf Coast in Mobile worked with George County churches to coordinate the one-time distribution of more than 1,600 boxes of food and milk. The boxes contained several meat items, fruits, vegetables and yogurt.
“We’ll take care of the senior citizens and most of the folks in the church and the senior department,” said Charles Pugh from the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Moss Point. “We’ll take care of them and get them a box. It’s a blessing, yeah."
The Farmers to Families program distributed thousands of boxes in the three Coast counties until August but did not distribute any in the current round of the program.