DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - They're struggling to feed the hungry in DeSoto County. Hundreds of families are seeking help. Many are going to the mobile pantry the Mid-South Food Bank sets up at the Landers Center each month.
"We're really concerned because we're having to turn people away now," says Estella Mayhue-Greer, president and CEO of the Mid-South Food Bank. "We had no idea need was as great as it is."
When the pantry started, the Food Bank and United Way thought they'd serve a few hundred households. The number of people coming has reached into the thousands. "We've served as many as 1,200 people at a distribution," Mayhue-Greer tells abc24.com.
Most are working poor "making choices between buying gas to get to work and food. They know they can come there once a month."
The mobile pantry offers a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Their focus is on providing nutritious food.
"For those things they drop off of their shopping list first because they're those high dollar items, such as meat and fresh produce," Mayhue-Greer says. Anyone seeking help has to sign up for a voucher ahead of time.
To get a voucher, those in need must go to one of the Food Bank's five partners in DeSoto County:
- Walls: Sacred Heart Southern Mission
- Horn Lake: Samaritans
- Southaven: Heartland Hands
- Olive Branch: Olive Branch Food Ministry
- Hernando: Catholic Social Services
"They need to bring their names and social security numbers of everyone in the household, proof of residency and proof of income," says Beth Pekaar, Executive Director of Samaritans in Horn Lake.
Last month, Pekaar issued enough vouchers to feed 600 people. They'll be serving even more this month.
"It's increasing. It's increasing every time," she says.
"We're looking at how we can get additional funding so we can meet the need there," says Mayhue-Greer.
If you can help, contact the Mid-South Food Bank: email@example.com