Neither burglars nor COVID-19 can stop Storehouse Food Pantry from feeding the hungry

Neither burglars nor COVID-19 can stop Storehouse Food Pantry from feeding the hungry

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The non-profit Storehouse Food Pantry has been burglarized twice in recent weeks, putting a big dent in the food supplies the organization can distribute to those in need.

Despite the burglaries and issues from the COVID-19 coronavirus, organizer’s spirits remain positive that the agency can weather the storm and continue to serve the community by providing much needed food and household items.

Communications Directors Allen and Dot Hill said the community has rallied to the pantry’s aid since news circulated of the latest burglary, which was reported Wednesday morning, March 25.

Video footage from the neighboring Good Shepherd Community Center shows the most recent perpetrator left the area with a wagon normally used to transport items to recipient’s vehicles.

Board President Bill Mounger said the burglaries have forced the pantry to spend funds that could have been used to feed hungry people to purchase its own alarm and video system instead. Both are being installed as you read this.

The pantry shares space with the center at 629 Cherry St., and both meet the needs of poor and low-income families of Vicksburg and the surrounding areas. The address formerly housed the segregated McIntyre School, which was renamed the Cherry Street School after integration.

The pantry feeds about 4,000 people every year. Local grocery store Corner Market allows the pantry to buy items at low costs when needed, but like everyone at the moment, the market is having problems keeping staples such as bread, toilet paper and other paper products in stock, Mounger said. Tyson Foods frequently donates chicken products, and Kroger donates various food products as they near expiration.

Mounger says many regular volunteers are staying away amid health concerns but new faces have arrived to bridge the gap.

“We depend on the support of the community,” he said.

The pantry is open Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until noon, and Thursday from 5 until 6 p.m. A household can receive assistance up to five times a year from the pantry, but there must be at least 30 days between each visit. To be eligible, the primary recipient must present a photo I.D. along with a Social Security card and the Social Security cards of each household member. Once a household is in the system, the primary recipient only has to present ID to receive needed food.

For more information on donating or receiving assistance, visit Storehouse Food Pantry on Facebook, at on its website at www.vicksburgfoodpantry.org, or call 601-642-0636.