Heard the saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch?”
That usually means don’t hope for something before it happens. Well, thanks to the Mississippi Poultry Association the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities can count all the chickens they want and put their eggs in one (make that two) baskets at the same time!
Each Thanksgiving the group donates eggs and chicken to Governor Phil Bryant. The last six years Bryant designated the Salvation Army. This organization supports several other groups like Catholic Charities to share the bountiful crop. Together they plan to feed as many as 300,000 people in need.
“We use it inside of our domestic violence shelters, we use it at our born free program, and then we use it at a couple other programs at
our agencies,” said John Lunardini with Catholic Charities.
Major Robert Lyle knows you can’t possibly reach that many without a lot of help.
“You know I had a friend years ago that said to me, I was a captain, he said Captain if you see a turtle on a fence post he didn’t get their by himself. He had help getting here.”
Call it ‘fishes and loaves’ or in this case, chicken and waffles, either way a little divine intervention is involved.
“When you take a partner like salvation army who then looks across the community and says how can we collaborate this generous gift of poultry and eggs and share it with those organizations that are out there feeding and sheltering those in need.”
So in the state that is the poorest – the one that can least afford the basics, you also find the most charitable. That — is something in itself to give thanks for says Lyle.
“You think about that much chicken, but you’re in a community of 600 thousand people, you know you’re in a state that economically struggles even though we see the economy changing so this kind of eggs and chicken for a family it doesn’t just provide super, now it takes care of breakfast and then you just spread that out over the community.”
This year the Poultry Association donated 54,000 pounds of meat and 129,000 eggs.