November 14, 2020 6:38:06 PM
In a year that has intensified food insecurity across Mississippi and the nation, United Way of North Central Mississippi is hoping the final week of its annual United We Feed food drive will be a big one. Donation bins in a four-county area are available for donations of non-perishable food items through Saturday, Nov. 21.
Throughout the four-week drive, which began Oct. 31, volunteers have collected food items for distribution to 24 food pantries and programs throughout Choctaw, Oktibbeha, Webster and Winston Counties. Monetary donations as well have been welcomed, to use to purchase additional foods. The UWNCM partners this year in the initiative with Starkville Kiwanis Club, Starkville Community Church and the Junior Auxiliary of Louisville.
"We are proud to have support from many local businesses that also recognize the challenges our neighbors face in accessing food for themselves and their families," said Brittney D. Oliver, executive director of UWNCM.
Multiple businesses serve as donation sites. In Oktibbeha County, they include OCH Regional Medical Center, OCH Wellness Center, Greater Starkville Development Partnership, Starkville Daily News, Starkville Properties, Big Buns & More, Kroger, Vowell's Marketplace and the Sportsplex. For drop-off locations in other counties, visit unitdwayncms.com/united-we-feed-1 or call 662-323-3830.
Collection bins in Oktibbeha County are monitored by Starkville Kiwanis Club volunteers. Food will be inventoried, categorized, shelved and distributed at the Starkville Community Church which has donated the use of their warehouse. JA of Louisville will assist in monitoring donations made in Winston County. UWNCM staff and volunteers will oversee all donations and organize food distributions.
United We Feed is a community initiative held during UWNCM's 2020 campaign.
"We emphasize the significance of our collective impact," said Oliver. "We are in this together, and it takes strong neighbors to develop and maintain a strong community."
Non-perishable foods for donation could include canned fruits and vegetables; canned meats, stews, soups and chili; coffee; dried beans; breakfast foods and snacks; juice; mac and cheese; packaged dinners; pasta; peanut butter; rice; and jelly (plastic jars only).
For more information, call the UWNCM office at 662-323-3830 or e-mail [email protected]
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.