Drive-thru Thanksgiving food distribution gives back to Lowndes County communit

Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Lowndes County Probate Judge Lashandra Myrick partnered with Sheriff Chris West to host their annual Thanksgiving food giveaway, handing out whole chicken hens and bundles of collard greens on Saturday.

Citizens and volunteers donate funds to support the effort, Myrick said. The sheriff’s office purchases meat with donations and the judge’s office provides the greens.

“We wanted to give back to the citizens of Lowndes County,” Myrick said. “Our holidays are stressful for everybody, especially those that may not have the extra funds for food. With groceries and gas being as high as they are, [we’ll do] anything to help alleviate some worry for citizens.”

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In previous years, organizers gave out turkeys, West notes. This year, suppliers recommended hens due to the high cost of turkeys.

“We’re trying to stretch funds to feed numerous families,” West explained. “We partner together, pick a day in November, then meet right here on the [Courthouse] square. Deputies and volunteers help direct traffic and give out food.”

Volunteer Dorothy Hulett attends Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church with Myrick and enjoys helping with the event.

“It means a great deal any time I can help anyone in need,” Hulett said. “Judge Myrick is a friend, a cousin, and a church member. She does this every year, so I’m just here to support her.”

West said the effort helps those who can attend and also local shut-ins who enjoy the one-on-one contact from volunteers who deliver the food.

“There are senior citizens who aren’t able to come out,” said West. “We try to push some food out to some of our home-bound people. We set some aside and between Thanksgiving and Christmas we will take them out. It’s just another way for us to give back.”

Before being appointed as sheriff, West worked in narcotics investigation and enforcement, and residents don’t always view him as a friend. Efforts like this one, he said, help foster good relations with community members.

“People hated me because we were so harsh with our drug enforcement,” West recalled. “We want people to know that we’re doing more than just arresting and taking people to jail. When we speak to groups I tell them, ‘You can call me.’”

Organizers welcome donors and volunteers to help. Groups or individuals can contact the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office at (334) 548-2222 or the Probate Judge’s office at (334) 548-2843 for more information.