Sacred Heart Southern Missions honored for food ministry

By Laura Grisham
SOUTHAVEN – For all of its efforts of food distribution, including its pantries, holiday food baskets and mobile pantry distributions, Sacred Heart Southern Missions was recognized last month with the prestigious “Feed the Need Agency of the Year Award” at the Mid-South Food Bank’s 2016 Agency Conference.
According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study, the food insecurity rate in DeSoto County is 15 percent. The child food insecurity rate is even greater, as 20 percent of DeSoto County’s children are unsure if they will have enough nutritious food to eat. Compared to other counties in our service area, however, DeSoto County has it better. The percentage of those who are food insecure hovers between 25 and 29 percent in Marshall, Tate and Benton counties, and reaches a staggering 33 percent in Tunica County.
Statistically, 39,890 people in the area (14,640 of whom are children) struggle to keep food on the table. These deficiencies illustrate the importance of the food ministries at Sacred Heart Southern Missions.
SHSM tallied more than 304 tons of food this past calendar year. This is 48 tons more than last year and nearly double that of three years ago. The efforts of the Garden Café are also noteworthy as the twice-weekly kitchen served 11,800 hot, nutritious meals during the last fiscal year.