Petal Task Force to hold food/money drive on Saturday

By HASKEL BURNS,

The Petal Children’s Task force is springing into action once again to help out less fortunate individuals for the holiday season.

The organization is holding a food drive from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Walmart, 36 Byrd Dr. in Petal. Task force members will be joined by firefighters from the Petal Fire Department, who will be on hand with boots to collect monetary donations.

“The firefighters used to collect money at the red lights; well, this year they’re going to do it with us,” said Demaris Lee, director of the task force. “We need a lot of food – we were kind of wiped out during Thanksgiving, and so we have people coming in now and we just don’t have as much food as we could give them, because we don’t have much. So we are desperately needing some food.”

Task force officials are particularly looking for foods like Hamburger Helper boxed dinners, Ramen noodles, cereal, SpaghettiOs, Pop-Tarts, Dak canned hams, peanut butter and jelly.

“Jelly is such a big need,” Lee said. “We do not have any jelly right now, and we desperately need jelly. It doesn’t matter what kind, if it’s grape or apple.”

The Petal Children’s Task Force will also put together Christmas boxes with food and supplies, which will be given out from 9 a.m.-noon Dec. 21 at the task force building, 314 South George Ave. in Petal.

“They’re going to be based on if there’s children in the family – they’ll get more food so that the kids will be able to eat (during Christmas holidays),” Lee said. “And if it’s an elderly person, it’ll be more canned goods.”

The task force got a big help last week from Walmart staff, who gave the organization their leftover turkeys.

“So we’ve got what we can in frozen turkeys, and we’re going to be able to give out turkey or ham,” Lee said. “We don’t know if we’re going to have enough for everybody, but we’re going to do our best if we can get enough for everybody.

“And if anybody would like to donate money to us before the end of the year, we are tax-exempt, so I would be glad to go buy the food that we need, so we don’t mind doing that.”

For more information on the task force, call (601) 255-5578.

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