Project Homestead Food Pantry thanks the community

The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Eta Xi Theta Delta Delta Chapters from Mississippi State University frequently hold food drives for the Project Homestead Food Pantry in West Point. Members Walter Conley and Scott Deloach were at Walmart in West Point collecting nonperishable canned goods in November.
Staff Writer

According to the USDA, 41.2 million people live in food-insecure households. In West Point there is the Project Homestead Food Pantry to help those in need receive food.

PHFP provides food for families in West Point and Clay County.

"During 2017, we provided food to 436 families, so that means 872 individuals knew they would eat because of the Food Pantry," Jane Scott, director of the PHFP, said. "This is not just something that happens. We can only provide for the poor people in our community because of the generosity of our community."

Scott wanted to thank everyone who makes the Food Pantry successful in meeting the needs of those who might otherwise suffer from food insecurity.

"We couldn't meet the needs of so many people without a lot of help," Scott said. "Community Counseling Services is a sponsor, the Mississippi Food Network, Walmart, the West Point Sonic is helping us year round by being a donation site. Take canned goods to Sonic and the carhop will take them inside. People don't even have to get out of their vehicles."

She said all members of the Boy Scout Troops, area churches both in the city and county, the West Point Consolidated School District, Oak Hill Academy, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Henry Clay and so many individuals are why this is the only operational Project Homestead Food Pantry in the state.

"Originally there were many food pantries with Project Homestead," Scott said. "But this is the only one left and we are thriving. I wish I could thank everyone by name who helps us." In addition to those who make donations, Scott had nothing but good things to say about the army of volunteers who donate their time to the Food Pantry.

"We have the most awesome volunteers," Scott said. "They pick up, unload, inventory, stock, pack bags for our clients on pick up days, help them take their groceries out to the car. I'm glad they volunteer because we'd never be able to pay them what they are worth. They are all worth their weight in gold as far as I am concerned."

Scott said due to overwhelming community support, the Food Pantry is able to give all of its clients two weeks worth of food next week.

"Normally each family receives their food once a week," Scott said. "But we will be giving them enough for two weeks and extra to make sure they have plenty to have lots of good food for Christmas. No one should have to be hungry at Christmas. This would not have been possible without so much help from everyone."

Scott said the pantry received a lot of turkeys from the MFN and Walmart, but they were short 57 turkeys to be sure every family had one.

She said the next day the Food Pantry received 60 turkeys from an anonymous donor.

"I am so amazed at what a small town like West Point can accomplish," Scott said. "We have been bombarded with donations. The outpouring of generosity toward us is overwhelming. I cannot thank all of the loving, giving people who help us enough."

Scott said it is almost impossible to understand the impact it has on the families who are still struggling to make ends meet, to know their children are not going to be hungry.

Scott said the Food Pantry also helps with emergency food for people who have met with circumstances where they don't have access to food.

"We are going to do our best not to let anyone go hungry," Scott said. "What bothers me are the people who are to proud to ask for our help. I know we are not providing for everyone. Those are the people I worry about."