By Margaret Dent
The Pantry of Oxford and Lafayette County experienced a summer shortage of normal food supplies within the last few months; however, due to donations from the LOU community, the supplies are slowly returning to normal.
The Pantry feeds an average of 1,500 Lafayette County residents a month. This is an average of 10 percent of Lafayette County, according to John Kohne, the current coordinating director.
“Our mission is to provide food for those with food insecurities and those that can not provide food for their families,” Kohne said.
Whenever the holiday seasons begin to roll around, Kohne said the Pantry has no issue with keeping the shelves stocked. But the summer months of July through September always sees a lull in the food supplies. Kohne has held this position for five years and he has never seen the summer months this scarce.
“I put an email out and made the community aware. Since then, the people of Oxford have put together three separate food drives that have helped build us back up,” Kohne said.
Kohne said he could not stress how supportive the community in Oxford has been to the Pantry.
“The reason we can do this and are successful is two-fold. One, the generosity and the compassionate support of our county,” Kohne said. “Number two is that we have the support of Mid South Food Bank that comes out of Memphis and Mississippi Food Network out of Jackson.”
Although things are getting back on track at the Pantry, it does not come without a cost.
“The emphasis right now is what happened this summer will not stop us from putting food on the shelves. It has drawn down our cash balance. So the most supportive this a Lafayette County resident could do right now is to make a financial contribution,” Kohne said.
Financial donations of any size are welcome and can be mailed to P.O. Box 588, Oxford, MS, 38655.