$28,000 available for groceries from Good Samaritans

Friday, March 27, 2009

Marshall County's Emergency Food and Shelter Board is working with the South Central Human Resources Agency to finalize paperwork so nearly $28,000 in federal money will be available to provide groceries to area residents through the Good Samaritans program in Lewisburg.

Meeting Tuesday in the Marshall County Courthouse Annex, the Board voted to have the funding come through the Fayetteville-based Human Resource Agency to the Good Samaritans led by Wallace Haley who coordinates purchase of groceries and makes them available to the Lewisburg-based charity to area residents.

Marshall County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett noted that the funding this year is about $5,000 more than what was provided last year.

"You might think that's a good thing," said Craig Blackwell, a member of the committee who may be better known as spokesman for the Lewisburg Gas Department. "But it's a bad thing that you qualify for more help. It means you have more poor people."

Good Samaritans makes food boxes available, according to discussion during the meeting. Food in the boxes is estimated at about $30.

Bobbie Cox of the South Central Human Resources Agency, attended the meeting to substitute for Cathy Hayes who could not attend for the agency.

The agency administers the funding and is paid $569 from the original amount of $28,478.

"We're the guard dogs to make sure that the food is bought and that the money is not spent on repair of someone's house," Cox said.

Blackwell said that in previous years the funding was in jeopardy because there was nobody immediately available to administer the funding for the service in Marshal County.

The South Central Human Resources Agency serves 13 counties in its area with programs including Head Start, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance program, weatherization, and Community Corrections probation monitoring.

As funding for purchase of food boxes is being processed, Haley announced there will be another food drive with cooperation from the Postal Service on May 9.