Food for the needy is a community concern

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 14, 2014

It is well known Mississippi has a high percentage of families living on a wage that puts them below the poverty level.

A lack of funds means lack of food for many in the community. But, the problem would be much larger were it not for programs both government sponsored and private that recognize this need and strive to address it.

The backpack programs conducted at the local schools work to provide food to children who may not receive regular meals at home. Some children in the area rely on the meals they receive at school to provide sustenance.

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When they go home for the weekend this program ensures they bring some food items home with them. The backpack program sends these kids home with pudding cups, macaroni and cheese and other tasty items that will keep their bellies full.

Summer feeding programs are also very successful in this area. Picayune School District’s summer feeding program, and others like it, provide hot lunches to any child who walks through their doors.

And there is the Crossroads food distribution center, which provides food items to families in need.

For people with pantries full of food it may be hard to imagine there are families reliant on programs to put food on their plate.

The local programs are successful in part through community donations from people who care. Those donations may not always be monetary. Many people donate their time through volunteer work.

Without these efforts many children, senior citizens and families may go without the nutrition they need.

We at the Picayune Item would like to thank those who put the needs of others before their own by donating their time, money and energy into ensuring the less advantaged have nutrition they need.