Election fundraiser feeds families

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tuesday, after exercising their right to cast a vote for their preferred candidate, Pearl River County residents are invited to Crossroads Food Pantry in Poplarville for the group’s fifth annual Election Day fundraiser.

The non-profit organization serves needy clients in the Pearl River, Ford’s Creek, White Sand and Henleyfield locations, director Sharon Bonnecarrere said. Because the food pantry is not government funded, the only criterion for service is that beneficiaries reside in the service area. 

Funds raised from the annual fundraiser are put toward operational costs including rent, utilities, insurance and building maintenance. 

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This year, the pantry will be serving white or dark meat grilled chicken dinners with two sides, bread and dessert for $8 per plate, Bonnecarrere said. Crossroads Seafood Restaurant donated the chicken and the pantry also received gift cards and donations from local businesses. 

“The food is paid for before the event begins,” Bonnecarrere said. “Everything we make that day goes towards our general budget.”

Along with food plates, there will be a bake sale and raffle tickets will be sold for a $400 Academy Sports and Outdoors gift card or Michael Kors purse. One ticket costs $1 or people can purchase six tickets for $5. 

Bonnecarrere also said there are many exciting things happening at the food pantry. 

In November, the student council from St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie, Louisiana will be holding a canned food drive for the pantry. 

“This is a huge blessing,” she said. “This time of year cans are in short supply. To have this amount is great. We will be picking the supplies up on Nov. 23 in time for distribution the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.”

For the second year in a row, the pantry will also be collecting Christmas toys for the children of needy families. In the next week or two, the Picayune Veterinarian Clinic will be hosting a toy drive. 

From January to September of this year, the food pantry served 1,230 households, which adds up to about 3,474 people, Bonnecarrere said. Fifty-five percent of those served are children and elderly. 

The pantry also receives mission outreach and support from New Henleyfield Southern Baptist Church and Trinity United Methodist Church, Bonnecarrere said. 

It costs about $275 every time the pantry serves groceries, she said. 

“This is how we raise money,” Bonnecarrere said. “It’s all about acts of donations, our awesome volunteers and the grace of God.”

Tuesday’s fundraiser will last from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The pantry is open every second Wednesday of the month and hands out groceries to those in need. Grocery items include meats, canned goods, bread and dry goods. 

All donations are tax-deductible and anyone wishing to donate to the food pantry may contact Bonnecarrere at 601-799-3045. Crossroads Food Pantry is located at 176 Old Crossroads West, Poplarville. Learn more about the pantry through Facebook at Crossroads Food Pantry. 

For those voting near Jack’s Fish House, located at 7921 Highway 11 North, Carriere, the Exchange Club of Picayune will also be hosting a fish fry to benefit their non-profit from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and plates will cost $9.