Jackson Street M.B. Church continues Thanksgiving tradition

Published 7:26 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018

The members of Jackson Street M. B. Church continued a 10-year-old tradition Wednesday, and in the process made Thanksgiving a little brighter for 300 Vicksburg residents.

Church members Wednesday afternoon distributed Thanksgiving baskets to area residents consisting of a turkey, a quart of milk, vegetables and other food items for dinner.

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“We began doing this around 2008,” said church member Naomi Bell. “When we started, we were taking the boxes to the families’ homes on a Saturday morning, and as the number grew, we started asking them to come here to the church to start picking up their boxes. We would serve them Thanksgiving dinner, and after the dinner they would get their box.”

Jackson Street pastor the Rev. Trollars Moore said the church expanded the program to reach more people.

“Last year, it was 160-something, and our goal was 300 this year,” he said.

Bell said the church began distributing baskets at 1 p.m., adding people began lining up at the church about 11:30 a.m. “We just thank the Lord that he’s blessed us to be a blessing to others,” she said.

Moore said the church’s food distribution program is not held only at Thanksgiving.

“This is something we do monthly, and I think we serve at least about 200 families each month,” he said. “When I first got here, we were only doing the boxes on Thanksgiving, but every Wednesday they (the church) would have a complete meal that included a meat, vegetable, starch, a roll and something sweet.”

Bell said all the meals were prepared in the church kitchen.

Moore said the church served the meals for about 11/2 years before moving to distributing the monthly food boxes.

He said people participating in the monthly food giveaway fill out an application to participate.

“We are part of the (Mississippi) food network, and we have their regulations and guidelines we have to adhere to. It’s a small application, pickup your box and inside the box is a note when the next distribution is,” he said. Participants, he said, have to recertify periodically.

Called by God

Bell said the inspiration for the boxes “came from the Lord.”

“God has called us to be a blessing to our community,” Moore said. “We don’t want to be just a church building, but we want to be a thriving ministry that meets the total needs of the people. That’s our endeavor, to not just be here at the corner sitting here for the sake of being a church.

“We want to reach out to our community and assist our community in any capacity that we can, physically, spiritually, emotionally and financially,” he said, adding the church has helped people with electrical bills and other assistance.

“We’re here to do kingdom work,” he said.

He said the church has had partners in its activities, naming WaterView Casino, Ameristar Casino, Kroger, Riverwalk Casino, Sullivan’s Grocery, Piggly Wiggly and Corner Market among the contributors.

“We’re grateful for all of those sponsors who have assisted us in this endeavor,” Moore said. “I think very, very big. It’s 300 (Thanksgiving baskets) this year, next year its going 500.

“We want to meet the total need of the people, because we realize there are people who work every day and can barely make ends meet, and we try to intervene between that facet and try to help them as much as we can.”


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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