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Local food pantry gives back

GIVING GROCERIES: Volunteers at Brother’s Keeper Ministries fill shopping carts for those who need nutritional assistance in Pearl River County. Photo by Dart Spiers

GIVING GROCERIES: Volunteers at Brother’s Keeper Ministries fill shopping carts for those who need nutritional assistance in Pearl River County.
Photo by Dart Spiers

For this week’s “Dart”, the Item traveled to Brother’s Keeper Ministries, an all-volunteer, non-profit food pantry in Poplarville.
According to their mission statement, Brother’s Keeper is a multi-denominational Christian organization dedicated to supplementing the nutritional needs of all qualified citizens in Pearl River County.
Founded in 2000, the pantry provides those who are in need with a cart full of groceries on a once-a-month basis. Need is determined based on United States Department of Agriculture guidelines for family size and income.
“I do this to give back, because I’ve been blessed,” said Secretary and Treasurer Susan Fuller, who added that the hunger problem in Pearl River County is a significant issue.
“The number of households we serve has increased so much,” said Fuller.
So far in 2014, Brother’s Keeper Ministries has served 5,221 households, including 596 households in the month of October alone. Through the first ten months of this year, the organization has provided service for 13,162 people; only 10,099 people were served in all of 2013.
The food they distribute comes from donations given by local schools, businesses and churches. Wal-Mart in Picayune sends food once a week, and the pantry also purchases food from the Bay Area Food Bank in Theodore, Ala., as well as the Twelve Baskets Food Bank in Gulfport. Brother’s Keeper holds an annual fundraiser featuring live and silent auctions in order to raise money for their food purchases.
A staff comprised entirely of unpaid volunteers operates Brother’s Keeper, which is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from the hours of 9 a.m. to noon, and then again from 1 to 3 p.m.
Fuller said the pantry will accept any donations and help the community can provide. Anyone interested in making donations can visit Brother’s Keeper Ministries at 208 N. Main St. in Poplarville, or call 601-795-3173 for more information.