Coast Electric and CoBank Donate Funds
to Hancock County Food Pantry
In partnership with CoBank, a national cooperative bank that serves utilities in rural America, Coast Electric Power Association has issued a grant to the Hancock County Food Pantry through the bank’s Sharing Success program. Coast Electric recently proposed matching grants for local food pantries to help ease the burden on families in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Through the Sharing Success program, Coast Electric was able to secure $3,300 in matching funds from CoBank, meaning a total donation of $6,600 to the Hancock County Food Pantry to help provide food to local families in need of assistance.
“Our country is facing a crisis unlike anything we have ever seen, and many families are experiencing significant hardships due to this virus,” said Coast Electric President and CEO Ron Barnes. “We’re proud to partner with CoBank and the Hancock County Food Pantry to help out our friends and neighbors in need as we navigate these uncertain times.”
SABIC Donating $50,000 to Hancock County Food Pantry to Support Local COVID-19 Response Efforts
SABIC, a global leader in diversified chemicals, is donating $50,000 to the Hancock County Food Pantry to help those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak. “We know that many people are faced with unprecedented challenges during these difficult times. SABIC is honored to provide support to our neighbors in need across the globe,” said Greg Adams, SABIC vice president for the Americas region.
Aside from $1 million in monetary donations to food banks and community-based agencies in the communities where the company operates, SABIC also is donating approximately $500,000 of its products. In Bay St. Louis, SABIC also is donating face shields made with SABIC’s LEXAN™ polycarbonate sheet product to local social service agencies and has provided meals for healthcare professionals.
The company operates a 540-acre facility in Bay St. Louis and employs about 100. The facility produces polypropylene compounds, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene and styrene-acrylonitrile, which are used in the automotive industry, electronics & electrical and business equipment.
Hancock County Food Pantry Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hancock County Food Pantry was open from 9 am to 12 noon on Monday through Friday, except for holidays. Low income families would come inside our building for an interview to determine their eligibility to receive free food and then would receive a grocery cart of food to take to their vehicle.
In response to the pandemic, the Food Pantry changed its mode of operation to better protect our volunteers and serve more low income families per day. Families now remain inside their vehicle and a Food Pantry volunteer interviews them in the parking lot and determines if they are eligible to receive free food. Food Pantry volunteers inside our building now work to fill grocery carts with food items and inmate workers from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office bring the grocery carts out to the parking lot and unload the food into the family's vehicle. Before this pandemic our Food Pantry would typically provide free food to an average of 35 families per day when we were open five days a week. Even though we are now only open two days a week, our new mode of operation has enabled serving more families per day because up to 40 to 50 grocery carts are "pre-loaded" with groceries the previous day. We set an all-time daily record of serving 140 families on the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving. All Food Pantry volunteers and inmate workers are required to wear face masks at all times.
Also in response to the pandemic and the resulting widespread unemployment due to many businesses shutting down or curtailing working hours, the Food Pantry decided to double the amount of existing food items being purchased and given away to the low income families that come to the Food Pantry for assistance. To further help low income families, the Food Pantry decided to purchase several new additional food items -- such as breakfast cereal and a gallon of fresh milk for every family. -- plus a frozen turkey for every family that came to our Food Pantry during November. A surge in donations from the community in April and May provided the needed funds to enable the Food Pantry to double the amount of purchased food given to families, but those funds will likely be exhausted early in 2021.
Hancock County Food Pantry Receives MS CARES Act Grants
As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, the State of Mississippi has recently implemented The Community Foundations COVID-19 Grant Program. Administered by seven Mississippi community foundations, the program provides grants up to $12,000.00 to reimburse eligible nonprofit entities and food pantries for pandemic related expenses incurred from March 1, 2020 thru December 30, 2020.
The Hancock County Food Pantry recently received two $12,000 MS CARES Act grants for a total of $24,000 from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to reimburse the Food Pantry for food purchased during the COVID-19 pandemic.