Well, I snicker a bit when I think why the Magee Lions Club has such good programs. It goes back almost 30 years ago when I moved to Magee. Having been a Lion elsewhere I knew about the fun and good work the club did.
We hit a stretch where members were not securing programs as they should and for about the second or third meeting we did not have a program. Lion Mac McCarty, now deceased, proceeded to tell the membership what their obligation was in regard to having a program. There were no questions and it was quite some time before anyone thought about failing to provide a program. It did not matter whether you were at the meeting or not, you’d better have your assigned program.
One of the recent programs was presented by the director of the Mississippi Food Network (MFN). Alfred Pace was responsible for securing the program. Part of the reason for his selection is the association between his church and their feeding ministry and the MFN. The presentation was made by Dr. Charles Beady, the executive director of the Mississippi Food Network program.
Their stated mission says, “Our vision is to eliminate poverty-related hunger in our service area.” Their service area is the majority of counties in the state. In other locations they work with organizations providing similar services.
So what does MFN do? They provide 1.5 million pounds of food each month to help eliminate hunger-related poverty. That amount represents providing food to 150,000 people, for a total of 1.8 million people fed per year.
Food is provided either through donations of food from businesses or through donations of money.
Every dollar donated provides up to six meals. And 95 cents of each dollar goes toward program operations, including food costs. They are a 401-C-3 organization.
Another facet of their organization is working with other groups that promote the same programs. All together approximately 430 agencies are working to alleviate hunger. MFN participates in programs like Kids Cafe, which provides afterschool snacks for 350 children each day and afterschool tutoring.
They work with a backpack program that provides easy-to-prepare meals for almost 2,000 children. They have summer feeding programs for school children.
In Magee the First United Methodist Church provides food staples to needy residents on the fourth Thursday and Friday of each month, with the exception of November and December for which there are different announced times. On Thursdays the food distribution is from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m. and on Fridays it is from 9 a.m. until noon.