By Woody Woodrick
Sweet potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple in most parts of the country.
Thanks to about 40 volunteers, thousands of families in
That’s how many volunteers came to the first Yam Jam sponsored Oct. 10 by the Society of St. Andrew. The volunteers gleaned a sweet potato field near Bellefontaine in
“Overall, it was a great, successful event,” said Jessica Burks, who works for the Mississippi Gleaning Network of SoSA in Mathiston. “Everybody that came said they want to come back.”
Society of St. Andrew is a national hunger-fighting organization based in
While the stated goal was 200 volunteers, the 40 who did participate came close to the goal of 20,000 pounds. The workers picked an average of 475 pounds of sweet potatoes each.
Among the volunteers were nine members of
“The bishop has been promoting the Society of
This wasn’t the church’s first time to glean fields. Hall said the church sent five members to a gleaning previously, and they returned with 1,000 pounds of food. Those potatoes went to a food pantry run by a Wheeler Baptist church.
Hall said being able to distribute the food in the local community was meaningful for everyone.
“It means a lot to the people in the church,” he said. “There were a lot of hugs and tears as these potatoes were handed out. Folks were real glad to get them and we’re real blessed to be able to help them a little bit.”
Burks said the 19,000 pounds of potatoes were distributed in
Burks said the success of the Yam Jam leads her to believe it will become an annual event. She said the churches that participated will likely be her best advertisers for next year. “I think now that we’ve had some churches participate, they’ll be able to see how it was and promote it themselves,” she said.
For more information about SoSA or its programs, call Burks at 662-263-8648 or e-mail