STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Food insecurity continues to be a growing concern for many Mississippi families.
You may have noticed pantries in Starkville filled with canned goods and non-perishable foods.
One local group, Starkville Strong, has united community members who donate items to food banks.
The shelves are full to the brim.
You may find small food pantries in the Golden Triangle that are fully stocked, but within the next hour the food may be gone.
For some families, it is uncertain where the next hot meal will come from. That’s why Rex Buffington, co-director of Starkville’s The Casserole Kitchen, helps distribute food and supplies to those in need.
Over the years, Buffington says, the demand seems to continue to grow as dozens of families rely on the local food bank for help.
“We have a lot of friends and neighbors who are really struggling to put food on the table to feed themselves the way they really need to, it’s a big problem in our community,” Buffington said.
And due to inflationary problems, it has become expensive for families to pay their supermarket bills.
“It’s really hard right now, especially with the way these prices are and people just have limited resources and they have to use them as much as they can, so it’s a challenge for people right now to really have what they need,” Buffington said. .
More and more community members are donating to help meet this need.
Landry Payne, 22, said he travels to different school campuses to teach young students about food insecurity and how their contributions matter.
“Now I like to go to elementary schools and kindergartens and these kids don’t know about it unless you tell them, and you don’t know about it when you’re younger unless you’re dealing with it or you’re in trouble and you get sick. their friends are involved and I love seeing their faces light up when they know they can do something about it because kids are kids and they want to help,” Payne said.
It’s all about feeding the community one at a time.
If you’d like to help donate to the city’s food pantries, find Starkville Strong on Facebook for more information.