Isle of Capri donates freezer to United Way food pantry

Published 12:48 am Sunday, August 5, 2007

Special to The Democrat

The United Way’s food pantry just got the cold shoulder from one its friends — and it’s certainly glad.

Responding to a call for assistance from the United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou, the Isle of Capri Casino Natchez donated a large, walk-in freezer and a walk-in cooler to help keep things cool at the pantry.

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Kathy Stephens, president and CEO of the United Way chapter, told her board of volunteers Thursday about the donation.

“(The freezer) will enable us to store items for extended lengths of time to better serve our 600 families that need supplemental food assistance,” she said.

Stephens contacted Jack Sours, vice-president and general manager of Isle of Capri and United Way board member, who, in turn, said that his company had two working cold storage appliances.

Sours said he “would be more than glad to donate them to the food pantry.”

“We agreed to donate the cooler and freezer because the United Way is Isle of Capri’s charity of choice in the Miss-Lou area,” Sours said. “Our biggest contribution is the sponsorship of the annual United Way Golf Scramble. We believe in what the United Way is doing for the community.”

John Moran, senior director of operations Isle of Capri, was the point person that headed-up the project to furnish the cooler and freezer from the Isle to the community food pantry, located in the former AB Motors building on Sargeant S. Prentiss Drive.

“Each appliance has enough space to store all the food items needed to handle the day-to-day operations of the pantry with room to spare,” Moran said. “Each is about five years old and should last at least 15 more years.

“A new freezer or cooler of that size would cost up to $40,000 each.”

Maria Bowser, chairperson of the United Way board of directors, commended Isle of Capri for their generous donation.

“Jack Sours and his team should be applauded for being terrific corporate citizens,” Bowser. said, adding that Mike Morace of Climate Control Specialists in Ferriday was also helpful.

Morace contributed time and labor needed for the installation of the appliances at the Food Pantry site.

The United Way is a Non-Profit organization whose goal is to increase the capacity of individuals and families to care for them. United Way is governed by local citizens (i.e., volunteers) who raise funds through an annual campaign and then distribute these dollars to deserving local health and social service organizations that meet specific standards set by the board of directors. For more information, contact Kathy Stephens at 601-442-1081.