Our community partner, the Good Samaritan Center, also known locally as “Good Sam” has provided food assistance, clothing, and community support services to the Jackson-Metro area for over 40 years.
Their mission is to create a “network of helping hands” in order to better serve residents in need. Doing so not only builds the quality of life in our state’s capital, but also the quality of health. Read on to learn more!
It’s reported that 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 5 children face hunger in Mississippi. In Hinds County, as many as 13,400 children face food insecurity. Food insecurity is a serious issue, not only because of the health consequences of malnutrition, but also because of the multi-generational impact hunger has on a family’s ability to increase their economic stability.
Hungry children are more likely to repeat a grade, experience developmental delays, or develop behavioral problems that get in the way of their education. This may lead to them dropping out of school which can significantly limit their life potential earnings, and ultimately impact their ability to provide for their families.
With support from organizations like Extra Table, Central Mississippi Planning and Development, and companies like KLLM Transport, Sysco Jackson, Two Dog Farms, and Salad Days, Good Sam is able to connect families in need to food programs or food assistance that provides locally grown farm-fresh produce. Their latest program, “Hub for the Hungry,” was developed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to address food access issues from school and restaurant closures.
“From the moment things began to shut down because of the pandemic, these businesses stepped up to help Good Samaritan and Extra Table salvage, store and distribute fresh food products. This was food that was earmarked for schools and restaurants, but those places were now closed. The Hub was able to save the food and make sure it was given out to charities and churches helping struggling families throughout the state,” said Good Sam’s Executive Director, Kathy Clem, in an interview.
Through Hub for the Hungry, food assistance programs, and their regularly operating food pantry, Good Sam has been able to help hundreds of Jackson families stretch their budget and put food on the table.
Good Sam is also a great place to volunteer your time to increasing community health–whether it’s helping collect donated items or helping out at an event. They frequently host 5K events, like their annual Kick up the Dust trail run, and other outdoor community fundraisers that provide a great opportunity for residents to get some fresh air and stay active.
We’re proud to spotlight the Good Samaritan Center as a powerful example of how impactful community-focused organizations can be in creating healthier outcomes for our state. Click here to learn more about Good Sam. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates on their work!
Have a success story of your own? Send it to us! Visit https://uprootms.org/contact to get started.