/Mississippi’s Extra Table gets to tell its story to national audience as featured charity at DC gala

Mississippi’s Extra Table gets to tell its story to national audience as featured charity at DC gala

Edward Street Fellowship Center’s plea led to the creation of Extra Table by St. John, who tapped decades of experience in the restaurant industry as a solution. His Sysco representative can place an order, and the truck will drop-ship the food at his agency. This is the fastest and most efficient way to get it there. Extra Table was founded by the man who realized the severity of the state’s food insecurity. It grew to 50 percent each year. Extra Table celebrates its 10th anniversary. It delivers nutritious, fresh food to 39 food pantries and soup kitchens across the state, from north Mississippi to Gulf Coast. Extra Table is also the featured charity of Taste of the South. This Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, which was founded by Southern transplants, shares the flavors of their home region and supports local causes. TOTS, which represents 13 Southern states and one D.C.-based charity, annually raises over half a million dollars to support charities in the South. The annual black-tie gala, held April 6th at the Washington Hilton, draws 2,300 guests and sells out every year. St. John said, “I’m so honored –and grateful.” “As someone who has been serving Southern food to customers in restaurants for more than 31 years, it’s a great honor to feed healthy food to those most in need.” This event’s organizers will be pleased to learn that 100% of donations will be used to buy healthy food for soup kitchens and mission pantries throughout Mississippi. Extra Table has been on TOTS radar for many years. Alex Monie, a member of TOTS’ Mississippi committee, said that “Extra Table” was one of the possible choices because of 2019’s theme of Community Resilience. He says that fundraising has reached $600,000.00 with 13 states working together in recent years. Most of the funding came from support from their home states. Every state will get a piece. Extra Table — Mississippi is the featured state, they’re featured charity, and we worked hard for our fundraising goals — will get a significant portion of the pie. Unfortunately, those numbers won’t be fully baked until after all checks have been received. We hope it will be more than $200,000.” Martha Allen, executive director of Extra Table, said that the recognition gives Extra Table the opportunity to share its story on a national scale. We know of no other organization that is able to provide the same way we are. It’s a simple template that can be dropped on top of any state no matter who is the food distributor. The food is delivered on the last Wednesday each month. So that pantries can be confident they will have enough food to feed their customers, they know when and what it is coming. Extra Table was founded on the principle that 100% of money raised will go to food. It will also ensure that the money is healthy to combat obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. It’s also thoughtful to plan with pop-top and tear-top tuna cans. This allows recipients to have access to food even if there is no can opener. In the summer, children don’t have school meals so breakfast foods and healthy snacks can be a great way to boost their diets. Allen says that partnerships are crucial to the success of the program, including with Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi and the newly formed College and University Anti-Hunger Alliance and Mississippi Center for Justice. It wouldn’t work without our partners. They are there on the ground all across the state accepting and passing out our food. … This is our speciality and they’re their specialty and it works beautifully together.” Katherine Capocelli, Sysco marketing manager, says that partnerships such as Extra Table have helped to create successful corporate responsibility programs that are able to provide guidance and succeed. Sysco’s Nourishing Neighborhoods program offers local dollars to help with food insecurity and other issues. We know that the mutual commitment to ending hunger is a mutual goal with partners like Extra Table. Extra Table’s 10th Anniversary year also brings additional recognition. Extra Table is this year’s WellsFest charity (with a goal of at least $50,000) and Lazy Magnolia Brewery charity for 2019. Ann McCullen is the executive director of Edwards Street Fellowship Center. The center distributed over 230 tons food in 2018. Each month, it serves more than 1,500 households in seven counties in the Pine Belt region. McCullen states that most of our clients are suffering from diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. “So, when they hand them a can full of preservatives, sodium and sugars — it’s not ideal.” We prefer to give them healthy food and Robert has been committed since the beginning of Extra Table — that it is as nutritious as possible._x000D