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Group wants to feed hungry

By Stephanie Snodgrass

The Brewton Standard

One area group is asking for help to feed the county’s hungry.

Cathy Pope, president and CEO of Feeding the Gulf Coast (formerly the Bay Area Food Bank, addressed the Escambia County Commission Monday with a plan to bring the mobile food pantry concept to area residents.

The food truck program works to deliver between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds of food to rural areas and other areas that might not have access to the county’s 10 partner agencies that host food distributions. In 2015, 153,242 pounds of food were distributed in the county through the area hunger relief charity branch. The organization is also credited with a children’s summer feeding program that served 2,397 meals in 2015.

Program participants are given low-cost, bulk food items 0 a number of items such as fresh fruit, frozen meats and boxed and canned goods.

Pope, who is new to the position, said her goal is better serve the area’s under-represented areas.

“There is a definite need because there are a number of hungry people in our area,” Pope said. “We want to do more to meet that need.”

To do that, Pope is seeking community partnerships to help with the cost of the mobile pantry.  She said 5,000 pounds of food feeds 100 families. The total cost of a mobile food pantry event $1,000.

“And that’s where we hope that a community partnership can come in, to cover the initial cost of brining the truck here,” Pope said.

To assist with the mobile food pantry program, contact Pope at cpope@feedingthegulfcoast.org.

In other business, the commission:

• approved the FY 2017 Escambia County Area Transit System agreement;

• reappointed Bill Bridges and appointed David Adams to the county solid waste disposal authority; and,

• reappointed Commissioner Raymond Wiggins as chairman and Commissioner Larry White as vice chairman.