FREE GROCERIES

Hancock County residents stand in line for nearly 5,000 pounds in donations from food bank

BAY ST. LOUIS

Hundreds lined up in the parking lot of Lakeshore Baptist Church on Thursday morning to receive free groceries from the Bay Area Food Bank.

The nearly 5,000 pounds of free groceries was distributed as part of the Food Bank’s first mobile pantry program in Mississippi.

Kimberly Harper, a resident of Hancock County, said her 50 pounds of food will go a long way.

“There is nothing in our freezer or our pantry to eat right now because I just lost my job,” said Harper.

“I am looking for another job but it is hard. Nobody is hiring and we need help. We do not qualify for food stamps right now.”

The residents gathered in the sanctuary for a free seminar on how to stretch a grocery budget.

The families and their children were also treated to a free spaghetti lunch after the seminar.

The Rev. Don Elbourne of Lakeshore Baptist Church said that as the economy continues to slide, the numbers of people needing help increases.

“We thought we would see the food lines dwindle after Katrina,” Elbourne said. “But now the economy has hit us hard and the number of people needing help is escalating. I really do not see any end in sight.”

Sandra Dibenedetto learned about the giveaway from her neighbors.

“I think we would actually starve without this free food today,” she said. “In our neighborhood here in Hancock County, we are rotating cooking dinner. We all take turns making a meal and it is helping save money.”

For information about Food Bank, call 1-888-704-3663. 

By LEIGH COLEMAN – Sun Herald
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