DAV gives food to the needy for holidays

Published 8:27 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The holidays are a time of giving and plenty of eating and many families that may have worried whether they would enjoy the a good meal were blessed with generous donations.

Eight families will have plenty of food to make their holidays brighter and warmer thanks to the local Disabled American Veterans, while 300 other families were given the beginnings of a nice turkey dinner this season by a mysterious donor.

DAV Commander Pat Evans said half of those eight families were chosen from applicants at the Street Fair while the other half were referred to him by the veteran’s service office. All were fed with donations collected at the Street Fair and from the various corporate sponsors. Each of the eight families received about 250 pounds of food from Claiborne Hill, Evans said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Evans said each year he gives the store a food list and $200 for each qualifying family so the store can fill the order. Claiborne Hill Store Manager Sam Levey said that after Evans gives them the list of food for the families, store employees will fill the order to as close to $200 as possible, usually going over but never going under.

“We make sure that they have everything on the list,” Levey said. “Whatever is over, the store absorbs of course.”

This time ,Levey said the items on the list cost about $225.

The basket should have enough food to feed a family of four for up to a month, Evans said.

“Everything they need for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said DAV member Bill Leaumont.

Four of the families were referred to Evans by the veteran’s service office and the rest were names taken at the street fair that he said he checked out for validity of need. The families would state why they needed aid and if Evans found good cause, then he awarded it to them.

“There are people out there that are desperate, that’s what we try to find,” Evans said.

In a separate effort, turkeys and dressing were given by the Greater Picayune Area Katrina Relief Effort to needy individuals Monday afternoon at the First Baptist Church of Picayune, said Janet Teague. An agency that prefers to remain anonymous helped donate the money to buy the turkeys and dressing for those families.

Those in need of the food were found through the school system, and if they were determined to need the food, they were given vouchers to redeem Monday at the church. Three hundred turkeys and 600 boxes of dressing were given to families in need with each family getting a turkey and two boxes of dressing.