Feed the Hungry uses barbecue to raise funds

Published 12:11 am Sunday, October 5, 2014

NATCHEZ — When festival-goers at the Jim Bowie Festival last week ate barbecue sandwiches sold on the grounds, they were actually helping put food in other people’s mouths.

The barbecue plates sold at the Feed the Hungry table were a fundraiser for the organization, which provides boxes of food for local residents facing food instability.

The plates raised approximately $1,400, Feed the Hungry Director Sandra Vanier said, part of which was used to fix the program’s aging truck.

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The rest — approximately $1,000 — was directed to Feed the Hungry’s food program.

“The air brakes had gone out on the truck, but we couldn’t pay for it because we didn’t have the money,” she said.

“It allowed us to pay a debt that we couldn’t pay, and it will pay for another month of food.”

The truck — which holds 10,000 pounds of food and has an insulated box — is used once a month for Feed the Hungry to replenish its supplies from a food bank in Alexandria. The truck plays an important part in Feed the Hungry’s ongoing operations, Vanier said.

“If we didn’t have the truck, they will deliver it, but they charge $200 on top of what you pay for your food, so having that truck enables us to pick up the food and just be out the gas money,” she said.

The Kansas City Barbecue Society, as part of a national donation effort, donated the pork for the sandwich plates sold at the festival.

Vanier said 48 Boston butt roasts were donated to the cause, and a team with 95 Country prepared the meat. What wasn’t sold at the festival was frozen and stored, and will be given out to those in need, she said.

Vanier said she wanted to specially thank Ann Westmoreland with the City of Vidalia, who helped organize the event.

Feed the Hungry’s annual jambalaya plate fundraiser sponsored by the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office will be Oct. 23. The plates, which have jambalaya, cole slaw, rolls and cookies, are $7.

Vanier said those who order four or more plates can have them delivered.

To order a plate, call 318-336-3050. Those who wish to sponsor a hungry family through Feed the Hungry can do so for $15 a month or $180 a year.