Ann McCullen, executive director of Edwards Street Fellowship, second from right, received 405 pounds of canned food from Forrest General employees, from left, Jennifer Easley, Food and Nutrition Services director; Sheree Rivers, F&N quality coordinator; and Kim Huddleston, FG Wellness. The food was collected during a food drive conducted by Forrest General Hospital during National Nutrition Month.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (April 2, 2021) Forrest General Hospital collected 405 pounds of non-perishable canned food during National Nutrition Month in March. The food drive ran from March 22-31. Food was distributed to Edwards Street Food Pantry upon completion.
“We appreciate our employees for recognizing there is a real need in the community to help those who need better nutrition and food resources,” said Sheree Rivers, MS, RDN, Registered Dietitian/Quality Coordinator-Food and Nutrition. “We wanted to do something different this year to celebrate National Nutrition Month and are excited to be able to help out Edwards Street in this small way.”
Since 1993, Edwards Street Fellowship Center (ESFC) has operated a food pantry to provide a helping hand to neighbors in need. Currently, the food pantry provides nourishing, nonperishable emergency and supplemental food to income-eligible adults from seven counties: Covington, Forrest, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Lamar, and Wayne. Income eligibility is based on the USDA’s 130 percent poverty guidelines. Clients may receive groceries once per month in the amount of one bag of groceries for every two people in their household. Each bag contains the following assortment of food items: one meat, two vegetables, one fruit, one soup, one pound of rice, one pound of dry beans, and at least one miscellaneous item.
In 2020, ESFC served an average of 1,637 households per month, which represented an average of 5,104 individuals per month. The pantry distributed an average of 3,201 bags of food per month with an average weight of 15.25 pounds of food per bag. ESFC’s food pantry staff assists clients with completing and submitting SNAP applications.
“We are so grateful to Forrest General for hosting this food collection drive in celebration of National Nutrition Month!” said Ann McCullen, executive directors of Edwards Street Fellowship. “Our goal at the Edwards Street Fellowship Center food pantry is to provide nourishing food for neighbors in need. Hunger and food insecurity have a devastating effect on families and individuals. Poor nutrition can lead to chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, while also affecting a person’s ability to perform well at school or work. This food drive will bring help and hope to our community. Thank you to the Forrest General family of employees for making a difference in the Pine Belt.”