Hundreds of Mississippi families turned away from a mobile food pantry

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Hundreds of Mississippi families struggling to put food on their table were turned away from a mobile food pantry Wednesday morning.

Chaos erupted at the Landers Center in Desoto County after Southaven Police turned away families in need of food for not pre-registering for the mobile food pantry.

“Everybody was trying to pull out because they’re like ok I can’t get anything, so I’m leaving,” said Shelia Morrow who wanted to pick up food for her family.

The Mid-South Food Bank partnered with Sacred Heart Southern Missions to distribute food to close to one thousand families.

“We got here at 8:30 thinking it not was going to start at 10,” Morrow said. “And then at 10:30 they came by and let us know no, you can’t get food because you’re not registered.”

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The food bank said people did not need to pre-register and have a voucher while the host said they did need the voucher.

“There was lack of communication between us and the food bank, and we have been trying to get it straightened out,” said Laura Grisham of Sacred Heart Southern Missions.

The food bank also said volunteers would begin handing out food at 10 a.m., but the correct time was 2 p.m.

Volunteers let recipients in during the noon hour.

Related: Donations are down as Mid-South Food Bank works to feed struggling families

“It was a little hard being that you have been sitting in the car cramped up waiting for the gate to open at 10, and then it still don’t open at 10:30, and then they're telling you, you can’t get anything,” Morrow said.

After hundreds of families went home empty-handed, Sacred Heart Southern Missions opened the gates and said everyone with or without a voucher was welcome.

“We’re going to work to feed everybody that’s here until the food runs out,” said Grisham. “We will do everything we can to make sure everyone goes home with something for dinner.”

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