Approximately 200 inmates at the Marshall County Correctional Facility in Holly Springs are helping to hand pack hundreds of meals for malnourished children around the world.
The prison partnered with the University of Mississippi to host a MobilePack Event for the Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) network. The event will mark the first time a MobilePack Event has been held in a Mississippi prison and only the second time in a prison in the country, according to the prison officials.
The partnership was arranged by Dr. Linda Keena, an associate professor of Legal Studies and interim department chair who teaches a restorative justice class at the prison. The inmates participating have attended or are attending the class.
“This program allows our inmates to be a part of a global effort to make a positive difference in the lives of children,” Commissioner Pelicia E. Hall said. “This also is a way for them to put into action what they learned in the Restorative Justice Program.”
Founded in 1987, FMSC is a Christian nonprofit that provides meals specifically for malnourished children. Donations fund the meal ingredients; volunteers hand-pack the meals, and then the meals are sent to food partners that distribute them to children abroad MCCF Deputy Warden Patricia Doty said the partnership has been six months in the making and donations started in November. Doty said $20,095 had been raised as of Thursday with a goal of $22,239 to support shipping about 99,280 meals.
“We still have pledges out that will be added to that so we are well on our way to meeting our goal with ease,” Doty said. “We don’t know what country will receive the meals we will pack but they will go to wherever FMSC has determined the greatest needs are.”
The inmates are looking forward to packing the meals, Doty said. “We expect they will be putting in 12 hours on Tuesday, and it will be very physical work.”
The volunteers working with the inmates include students and professors from Ole Miss, local firefighters, religious volunteers, prison staff and a retired professor from Southeast Missouri State.