Church provides ‘House of Bread’ food bank for over 15 years

Published 1:20 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The East Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Picayune, MS provides food and essential items for its local community.


Every first Wednesday of each month led by members of the church, Josephine Turner, Barbra Walton, and other volunteers set up tables outside and donate large grocery bags of food items.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We give them enough to last the entire month,” said Turner.


Families get a sort of protein; prime ribs, pork loins, steaks, eggs, chickens, turkey, ham, rice, water, canned goods, fruits, and vegetables. That along with recipes are just a small portion of the items that they donate. They also will give out pampers, diapers, baby wipes, soap, and laundry detergent and continue to provide facemasks, hand sanitizers, and cleaning essentials.


“If we have it, we give it away,” said Turner. “(I get) Anything I feel someone can use especially when it comes to the food.


All the food and majority of supplies Turner collects come from 12 Baskets, a central food bank warehouse and distributer in Gulfport MS. The church’s partnership with 12 Baskets (under 501C3 organizations and USDA) allows them to get items at a reduced price. They also accept citizen donations, which they’ve gotten a lot of.


East Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church’s Pastor Brian K. Dees said the food bank was been operational for about 15 years. Turner has been a part of it for seven and Barbra Walton’s been helping for two years now. The church’s food bank also delivers to its senior members who aren’t able to attend.


The mission behind this food bank is to provide required supplements to members of the church and residents of Pearl River County who need them.


Jerusalem means ‘House of bread’ and Pastor Dee said when you’re dealing in ministry with the significance of giving, “it’s an opportunity to sew into our community.”


He said, “It’s about giving, and about giving to someone who really really needs it.” Turner added, “If we can help you, the extended hand is out there and we will try and help you the best that we can.”


If families or individuals are in need, please contact Homeland Security (DHS), local authorities, and the local hospital for assistance.

The East Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church will host its next food drive on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. For more information please contact the church at (601) 798-5056.