JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Jackson County Sheriff's Department went on a top secret mission Monday to bring some holiday cheer to families in need. The goal was to help the less fortunate and reconnect the department with the community.
Jackson County Sheriff's deputy cars swarmed Wayne Lee's Grocery store in Pascagoula Monday morning. The deputies were there to buy food for more than two dozen financially struggling families in the county.
"They get a chicken, a dozen eggs a gallon of milk, some butter, a loaf of bread, and multiple canned goods and rice. It is enough to feed a large family. It makes for a good Christmas dinner," Chief Investigator Curtis Spiers.
Newly elected Sheriff Mike Ezell is heading the Christmas Cheer operation. He said it's vital his team build a better relationship with the community.
"Let's get good news out from the sheriff's department and let's try to do some good for the county and the citizens who are need," Sheriff Ezell said. "We are going to try to expand next year to do more. I think we have about 25 families for food this year. We are going to try to double that next year. We also have toys for families and kids, so we are just excited about that."
After Santa's helpers packed up their cars, they headed out to the homes to drop off the care packages. One of the stops was in Moss Point where the sheriff and his crew surprised a deserving family.
"I think it is truly a blessing at the moment. Their father is unemployed and it is truly a blessing," Deletha Edgar said about her family.
Deletha Edgar said she's thankful and hopes deputies will continue to get out into the county and look for ways to connect with the public, something that's been absent in the past.
"What it says for the sheriff's department as a whole is I feel like justice is still being done. It is just wonderful to know you have friends in the department that are willing to give."
Deputies received more than $1,000 from Community of Christ in Escatawpa to help pay for the food. Along with food donations, 150 families have received new toys from the sheriff's department.