Food for the Hungry: Local church gives back at Thanksgiving

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 22, 2014

BOUNTY: The congregation donated a plethora of food items to Christian Care Ministries. Photo by Cassandra Favre

BOUNTY: The congregation donated a plethora of food items to Christian Care Ministries.
Photo by Cassandra Favre defines Thanksgiving as the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
The holiday is observed on the fourth Thursday of every November and is celebrated with a large feast, much like the harvest festival the Pilgrims hosted in 1621.
For some in Pearl River County, Thanksgiving Day will not be characterized by a large meal surrounded by the laughter and smiles of family and friends.
The congregation at First United Methodist Church are collecting food donations for a local food pantry to help feed the less fortunate.
For the past 15 years the church has been elaborately decorated to celebrate the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, church member Billy Walley said.
“Traditionally, we host a food drive to benefit Picayune’s Christian Care Ministries,” Walley said.
The ministry is a non-profit organization that administers emergency assistance to area families in need.
The organization provides a number of services including the purchase of approved medications, vouchers for clothing and gas, assistance to victims of residential fires, access to a food pantry and home delivered meals.
At the front of the Methodist church, sits a large cornucopia brimming with fruits and vegetables.
“The cornucopia is the symbol of the harvest’s bounty,” Walley said.
Below the alter lies a number of boxes filled with a variety of donated food items.
Reverend Harold Manning has been serving as pastor since June of this year.
“The people who will receive this food are in their own personal storms,” Manning said. “Everyone has been there in one way or another.”
First United Methodist Church is located at 323 N. Haugh Ave. and can be reached at 601-798-4321.
The church office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday school is held at 9:30 a.m. with worship service beginning at 10:30 a.m. every Sunday.
Learn more about the church at
The congregation will fill the sanctuary with the spirit of Christmas the annual Hanging of the Greens on Sunday, Nov. 30, Walley said.

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