“A life lived in service to others is a life worth living” are the words Greenville mayor Errick Simmons used to frame the benevolent work of Hearty Helpings Food Pantry executive director Pandora Redmond.
On Tuesday, Redmond’s work to feed those in need became even more far-reaching as her community partners — Mars Food, MolinaCares and Kroger — made a collective effort to donate a branded, refrigerated delivery truck for Hearty Helpings Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen.
““Thank you Lord” is what I want to say because God is faithful and true,” Redmond said while she addressed the crowd of attendees Tuesday. “Mars, Molina and Kroger are good partners in the community and they care about the community.”
Mars Food, the MolinaCares Accord, in collaboration with Molina Healthcare of Mississippi and the Kroger Delta Division presented the truck in an effort to assist the pantry in tripling the number of donations they are able to receive.
“The funds used to purchase the truck is part of a larger community initiative launched earlier this year by Mars Food, Molina Cares, and the Kroger Delta Division to expand area-residents’ access to healthy food,” a joint press release stated, “Approximately 70,000 healthy meals will be donated through this coalition per year to area food banks, including Hearty Helpings.”
Hearty Helpings Food Pantry is one of the largest of its kind in Washington County.
Redmond, seemingly overwhelmed with gratitude, recalled before the pandemic, Hearty Helpings was serving about 200 families.
“Those numbers increased to 200 a day or more and since then, the numbers have been increasing — we’ve been getting people not only from Greenville, but all over Washington County and some other parts of the Delta,” she said, highlighting people were even inquiring of the Mayor’s Office where they could get their food. “We had the numbers coming in as far as the need, but we were unable to get as much food as was needed out because transportation is a big issue with food delivery and distribution.”
She again thanked the City of Greenville as well as the coalition of Mars, Molina and Kroger for all they’ve done and had the keys to Hearty Helpings Food Pantry’s refrigerated truck presented to her.
“It has been an impact not only for the community, but for my husband and I,” Redmond said.
Being a former registered nurse and active in the field of healthcare herself, she referred to Molina, Mars and Kroger as “the perfect combination.”
“It is amazing to see this initiative come to life as we continue to offer everyone a seat at the table by providing access to nutritious meals that we all deserve,” said Denis Yarotskiy, regional president, Mars Food North America. “While we have partnered with Hearty Helpings Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen for many years, we are particularly proud of our efforts over the past year to understand the needs of Greenville residents and how we could help further the pantry’s mission to feed and nurture the Greenville community. We’re excited about steps we’ve made with Molina Cares and Kroger and look forward to the opportunity to do even more in the future in service of our purpose.”
“This partnership combines the strength of these three great companies to serve this unique and treasured community—a community that they’ve invested in, lived in, and care deeply about,” said Bridget Galatas, Plan President of Molina Healthcare of Mississippi. “I’m humbled to be a small part of the caring and thoughtful teams that made this possible.”