20,000 sweet potatoes donated to Jackson citizens in need - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

20,000 sweet potatoes donated to Jackson citizens in need

Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT
Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT
Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT
Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT
Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT Over 200 JSU students volunteered at this years Crop Drop. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Society of St. Andrew and Jackson State University teamed up to feed thousands of people in the Metro area Tuesday.

Volunteers went through and sorted sweet potatoes, noting that hard ones are good to eat and soft ones are thrown out. 

They put about 10 pounds of sweet potatoes in each bag and give them out to whoever needs it, along with a 20 ounce head of lettuce. The "Crop Drop" coordinators say that can feed a person for 30 meals and last four weeks.

Mississippi farmers donated 20,000 pounds of sweet potatoes. The Society of Saint Andrew organized the "Crop Drop" event, Taylor Construction trucked the sweet potatoes over to a parking lot across from Blackburn Middle School and JSU volunteers bagged and distributed the food.

READ MORE: 20000 LBS OF SWEET POTATOES DELIVERED THROUGH JSU CROP DROP

"This crop actually comes from Vartamin, Mississippi, the 'Sweet Potato Capital'," said Heather Wilcox, who's with JSU's Center for University-Based Development. "So we have really good sweet potatoes today, and we're really excited because it's a healthy option for our community, and it's at no cost to them."

Over 200 JSU students signed up to volunteer.

Antonia Erhabor came with other students from her Environmental Master's program.

"We get points, and we're just doing it because we want to help the community, also," said Erhabor.

This is the fourth annual Crop Drop at Jackson. Last year there were 12 at different locations across the state.

Andy Lemmon, program coordinator for the Mississippi Gleaning Network, is the mastermind behind the whole thing.

"We have farmers that have a surplus of potatoes, and we have people in cities that don't have enough food, so we try to connect the two," said Lemmon.

People gathered en masse to get the free food. The line of cars waiting wrapped all the way around Pearl Street.

"We try and keep it local. We try and make sure we service the West Jackson community primarily, but also just the city of Jackson," said Wilcox.

Daija Green is a Junior at Jackson State and this is her third year volunteering at the Crop Drop.

"Seeing the smiling faces on the people who want the bags of potatoes," said Green. "There's so many people that come out to get the potatoes, and it's just such a good feeling."

The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi made recipes using sweet potatoes in healthy ways.

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