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Holiday Food Pantry Drive has begun

For the next four weeks, The Daily Leader and Bank of Brookhaven will collect monetary donations for local food pantries.

This is the 17th year the bank and news company have teamed up to organize the Holiday Food Pantry Drive.

Over the years, the drive has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the fund, which is then split between various food pantry organizations in the area. This year, there are three — St. Francis of Assisi/St. Vincent de Paul, The Greater Hope Foundation and Bethel AME.

“With the year we’ve had, I think we’re going to see a lot of people come together to help this year,” said Bank of Brookhaven President Shannon Aker.

Beginning today, donations will be accepted at both The Daily Leader and Bank of Brookhaven. Checks can be made out to Holiday Food Pantry. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602. They will also be accepted at the front desk of the newspaper office, 128 North Railroad Ave.

Donations to the pantry drive will be published in The Daily Leader as they are received. Donors for the Holiday Food Pantry Drive have the option of donating in honor or memory of someone, anonymously, as a business or as an individual. The contributors’ names — unless requesting anonymity — and gift are publicized in the newspaper as they come in. A grand total of donations will be printed in each issue. Collection for the food drive will end Dec. 18.

As in summer months and hard-hitting times like the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for food increases during the holidays. Many families rely on food pantries to provide for emergency food needs during the Christmas holiday break.

Contributions to the Holiday Food Pantry also can be mailed to the bank, given to bank cashiers or donated through the drive-through windows.