Feed the Hungry lacking needed funds

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 29, 2010

VIDALIA — Times are lean at Feed the Hungry.

The Vidalia-based charity, which provides a 50-pound box of food to needy families on a monthly basis, has come into some financial difficulty after 13 years of never having to scrape the coffers.

In the last month, the charity has seen a power bill it couldn’t pay, and emptying shelves. The pantry has enough food for the August distribution but not after that, Director Linda Bonnette said.

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“We have a walk-in cooler and eight freezers,” Bonnette said. “We’re a food pantry, so we can not afford to have them not run.”

The Feed the Hungry model works on the idea of sponsorships; for $12 a month, a person sponsors a recipient family.

Even though the sponsorship program is in place, Feed the Hungry doesn’t turn a needy family down if they don’t have a sponsor.

Through the year, both sponsors and stand-alone donations have dropped off, leaving the pantry’s volunteers wondering what will happen next.

“We definitely want to keep our doors open, especially since the pantry in Natchez closed, and we don’t want to put any more burden on the couple of churches in Natchez who are still doing this,” Bonnette said.

Starting Aug. 1, sponsorships will be raised to $15 a month, and Feed the Hungry has been approved for a $5,000 grant, but Bonnette said they don’t know when they will receive the money they have been promised.

To help make ends meet, Feed the Hungry — with the approval of the City of Vidalia — will have a roadblock from 8 a.m. to noon on Carter Street at its intersection with Cross Street.

“We don’t generally like to do many roadblocks, but this is for Feed the Hungry, so the city is willing to work with them to raise finds,” Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said.

“We ask everyone to support (Feed the Hungry) because is one of the major sources to help feed people in the Miss-Lou.”

Those who wish to donate to Feed the Hungry can contact Bonnette at 318-336-8748, 318-336-2428 or 318-719-9760.