JACKSON – Hinds Community College students like Nyecka Edwards were without electricity, safe drinking water and access to groceries after last week’s winter storm in Mississippi and the Southeast.
“I have my mother and mother-in-law living with me right now because they still don’t have power,” said Edwards, of Jackson, an Associate Degree Nursing student at the Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center.
Thanks to a generous donation, Edwards and dozens of other Hinds students were able to obtain a box of food today (Feb. 24) for at least three meals and, more importantly, peace of mind as local grocery store inventories recover from several days without shipments. The drive-by donations took place in the parking lots of the Jackson Campus-Academic/Technical Center and the Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center.
“This helps us because I haven’t seen enough at the stores yet that we need,” she said, adding her four teenage children at home already make for a hefty monthly food bill.
The Single Stop program at Hinds collaborated with the Mississippi Food Network and Hello Fresh to make Wednesday’s donations happen.
Each of about 900 Hello Fresh boxes contained three meals, a recipe for each meal and the seasoning ingredients, said Anita Bell-Muhammad, coordinator of the program at Hinds. The program assists students with an array of free social services such assistance with transportation, affordable healthcare, free tax preparation, SNAP benefits, tuition assistance, medical, dental, legal advice and expungements.
“The boxes were distributed to Hinds students, faculty, staff and the community,” Bell-Muhammad said. “We thank the staff and faculty of both locations. They were the servants to this act of kindness.”
Caneetra Wooten, a student in the Emergency Medical Sciences program, was the first of several students who picked up a food box at JATC.
“It’s hard to find enough food and water after last week,” she said. “So I sure can benefit from this.”
Shadrick Rouser, of Jackson, a Clothing & Fashion Design student at the Utica Campus, picked up a box to help he and his mother, who is an adult education student at the Jackson Campus, fill in the gap at the dinner table this week.
“You still really can’t find anything in the grocery stores this week,” Rouser said. “It’s a real hassle.”
Emma Wise, of Brandon, a Radiologic Technology student, was grateful to be able to leave her house this week to pick up something to eat.
“I couldn’t leave at all last week, so I couldn’t get to work, which meant I couldn’t get any money,” Wise said. “When I went to the store this week, I found some Pringles, but that’s about it.”