Trustmark has given $20,000 to two Hattiesburg nonprofit organizations as part of its Sleigh Hunger campaign, a five-state initiative designed to help support local relief efforts that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bank recently donated $10,000 each to Edwards Street Fellowship Center and Extra Table, both of which are using the funds to feed families throughout the holiday season.
“They do a generous check every year, but this one is huge,” said Ann McCullen, executive director of Edwards Street Fellowship Center. “It was enormous, because for one thing, it was unexpected. They were so kind and asked us to let them know what our needs were.
“A few weeks later, they asked if they could come do a check presentation, and they showed up with a check for $10,000. I’m sure my eyes bugged out of my head, because I was not expecting anywhere close to that amount. It was very generous, very welcome and very useful.”
The funds will go towards the food pantry at Edwards Street Fellowship Center, which provides emergency and supplemental food to 1,700 households each month throughout a seven-county area of the Pine Belt.
“It was wonderful to be able to have access to funds to buy food for the food pantry,” McCullen said. “We need donations when people need food drives, but also just to buy food to fill in the gaps that donations don't cover.
“So, it was great, and it helps us to (go forward) with the funds to purchase what we need to keep feeding people. The pandemic isn’t gone yet. The need is still there, and we’re still seeing new families and individuals all the time who never thought they would need a food pantry, but now they’re having to find their way to our location on Edwards Street.”
Extra Table is a Hattiesburg nonprofit organization that works with a variety of food distributors and brokers to provide nutritious meals to food pantries throughout Mississippi. The funds from Trustmark will provide more than 60,000 meals to the organization’s partners.
“Receiving that great year-end donation allowed us to ensure that those last deliveries in December were substantial,” said Martha Allen, executive director of Extra Table. “It helped us continue feeding in the Pine Belt area into the new year. It was healthy food provided to our partners here in the Pine Belt area.”
The $20,000 donated by Trustmark to Edwards Street Fellowship Center and Extra Table is part of more than $250,000 donated to 69 organizations in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Florida through the campaign.