Feeding America’s CEO visits state’s largest food bank, praises team for efforts during pandemic

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 6:58 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Feeding America’s CEO traveled to the Capital City to see the inner workings of the Mississippi Food Network.

TIME’S 100 named Claire Babineaux-Fontenot one of the most influential pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons of the year. Her influence landed MFN the largest donation in the organization’s history.

“I come here feeling optimism, feeling pride,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot.

The head of the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization wanted to see firsthand Feeding America’s partnership in action. The Mississippi Food Network is one of 200 food banks supplied by Feeding America. The Louisiana native praised the efforts of the MFN team.

“At the Mississippi Food Network, we have multiple examples of people who, as children, needed the held and the services of this food bank but who today help to make certain that other children get access to food,” said Babineaux-Fontenot.

MFN’s CEO said she is owed a debt of gratitude for helping the agency obtain a $9 million dollar gift from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, the largest in the organization’s history.

“That gift is going to be transformational in terms of our ability to get food to those who need it in the state of Mississippi. Without her we wouldn’t have that gift,” said Dr. Charles Beady.

Those funds will not just help distribute more than 42 million pounds of food to the needy each year. It will pay for roof renovations, install a parking lot and move its administrative office from the warehouse.

Feeding America’s CEO said public awareness of nationwide food insecurity rose during the pandemic.

“Without those images of those cars, those lines and lines of people who are in need of our services I don’t know that the American consciousness would be where it is today,” added Babineaux-Fontenot.

Feeding America provided 6.1 billion meals to the needy in 2020. MFN distributes food to 430 agencies in the state.

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