Starkville Daily News
Starkville Strong address food insecurity through $5 Fridays
One of Starkville Strong's main missions is to address food insecurity in Starkville.
The main method it does to achieve that is by filling up its food pantries around town and the main one at Dunkington Art & Jewelry, all fueled by $5 Fridays.
Every Friday, Starkville Strong accepts donations either monetary or food items to fill up those pantries and keep attacking food insecurity in the community.
The inspiration for $5 Fridays came from Starkville Strong team member Janine Dunleavy, who Starkville Strong Executive Director Brandi Herrington describes as “the one who comes up with really great and creative ideas.”
“We have a really large following on our Facebook group, and we always say that if every person gave $1 each week, we'd be able to do so much for our community,” said Herrington. “Most donation platforms we use require a $5 minimum, so that's where $5 Fridays came about.”
With donations on $5 Fridays, Starkville Strong uses those to keep both the overflow pantry at Dunkington stocked and the six free little pantries across town filled at least twice a day. Herrington says that donating on $5 Fridays can be as simple as giving $5 via Venmo, Cash App, Go Fund Me, or Paypal.
“We make donating easy by providing multiple ways to give. Of course, if a person would rather drop off $5 worth of food and hygiene items instead, that's welcomed as well,” Herrington said.
While the issue of food insecurity in Starkville is nothing to take lightly, Herrington says it goes hand in hand with housing stability as well.
“We have been steadily adding clients to our Path to Stability Program, which is designed to help them gain independence and financial stability,” said Herrington. “We have a list of tasks, assignments and leg work our clients have to complete before they receive any financial assistance. We are currently partnering with the Discovery Center to begin a new system we hope to release soon.”
Behind the scenes, Herrington says Starkville Strong is nothing short of team members, volunteers, partners, and community members who help keep each other motivated to fight the good fight.
“Without Starkville Strong team members like Cate Hurdle and Kimberly Christy, Path to Stability wouldn't have progressed to where it is today,” said Herrington. “$5 Fridays are an investment in building a better community, where people are given a hand up, not a hand out.”
To donate to Starkville Strong's $5 Fridays, you can donate $5 or more to the nonprofit organization through Venmo at Starkvillestrong, Cash App at $Starkvillestrong, or Paypal at email@example.com.
For more information about $5 Fridays or other programs Starkville Strong has, you can visit their Facebook page.