Making A Difference: The Mississippi Food Network - - Jackson, MS

Making A Difference: The Mississippi Food Network

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It's a busy place, this warehouse just off Gallatin Street in Jackson. Trucks and vans are pulling in here and loading up and pulling out daily. This is the headquarters of the Mississippi Food Network.

Dr. Charles Beady Junior is the CEO. He says hunger is a bigger problem here than you might imagine.

“There are 600 thousand individuals in the state of Mississippi who are food insecure at any given time," said Dr. Beady. "You don't have to be poor to be food insecure. You lose a job you don't know where your next meal is coming from for some portion of time during the year. That's different than being poor all the time.”

And of course there is poverty in Mississippi. And poverty is oftentimes tied to insufficient education. And even THAT feeds off a lack of food in a way.

“There are over 120 thousand children in MS who go to bed hungry every night," added Dr. Beady. "If you have a youngster who is poor, food insecure, doesn't know where the next meal is coming from, its difficult for him or her to focus on what the teacher's asking them to do.”

So the Mississippi Food Network was created to warehouse and distribute food to folks who need it through 415 organizations at the street level. Center Ridge Baptist Church in Yazoo City is one of them. Janise Kirk is a member.

“We're picking up our food that we give out every Wednesday," said Kirk. "We'll go home and pack up close to 30 -pound boxes of food and we feed about 260 people a month.”

Merlin Richardson, the mayor of Anguilla was also there. He takes what he picks up here back to his church in the Delta for distribution.

“We're serving 60 people. We have 60 families we serve up there,” said Mayor Richardson.

The Mississippi Food Network operates off of donated funds to keep the staff it takes to deliver 20 million pounds of food a year to people who literally don't know where their NEXT meal is coming from, much less Thanksgiving diner. And as we help them, we can all share in Making A Difference.

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