Panolian readers contribute ton and a half of food to pantry

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, September 20, 2016


Donations of non-perishable food were delivered by Panolian circulation clerk Maranda Johnson (left) and received by  Panola Food Pantry director Marie Leland Monday.

The Panolian photo by Rita Howell

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Panolian readers contribute ton and a half of food to pantry

By Rita Howell

The Panolian’s monthlong subscription special netted an estimated one and a half tons of food for the Panola Food Pantry.

A total of 134 subscribers (and additional folks who just wanted to donate) made contributions of 330 bags of canned goods and non-perishables. The newspaper had offered a discount on subscriptions in exchange for five cans of food. Many subscribers brought in whole cases.

Other groups and individuals have delivered food to the pantry in the past month, after director Marie Leland wrote a letter to the editor asking for help following a summer of heavy need that stretched the pantry’s resources.

The agency actually had to close its doors one week because it didn’t have enough canned goods to distribute.

Leland, who has been the volunteer director of the pantry since it opened in 1995, expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support from the community.

The pantry is located on Van Voris Street and is open to serve needy families Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, 8:45-10:30. Volunteers provide screening and keep records of those served. Other helpers stock the shelves and assemble bags and boxes of food for distribution.

About 400 families are served each month, Leland said.

The pantry is supported by financial contributions from churches and individuals. A partnership with the Mid-South Food Bank in Memphis allows Leland and crew to makes trips to that facility to purchase food in bulk.