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Hundreds of vehicles lined up for miles for JSU’s bi-annual Crop Drop giveaway

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Student volunteers bagged 20,000 pounds of sweet potatoes during the bi-annual Crop Drop on Saturday. (Photo by Charles Smith/University Communications)

Student volunteers bagged 20,000 pounds of sweet potatoes during the bi-annual Crop Drop on Saturday. (Photo by Charles Smith/University Communications)

 

On Saturday, vehicles lined up before 6 a.m. for the bi-annual Crop Drop giveaway sponsored by Jackson State University’s Center for Community Engagement and Society of Saint Andrew.

Volunteers filled nearly 1,000 bags with sweet potatoes, cabbage, onions and canned goods. Numerous cars and community members were on the scene to grab the free goods.

“Our community is located in a food desert, so we are grateful for this event,” said Thomas Hudson, J.D., President of JSU. “Providing our community with healthy food options without them having to leave the convenience of their car is important to us during these difficult times.”

Heather Denne’, director of Community Engagement, said the highly anticipated event leaves her humbled each year.

“People from the community are here waiting for three to four hours before we began distribution,” Denne’ said. “The mere fact that individuals are here for 30 dollars’ worth of food shows there is a huge need in this area.”

Heather Denne', Ph.D., director of Community Development distributes children's books, hats and gloves during the Crop Drop. Denne' says, "This event keeps me up at night worrying about the well-being of those in our community. I want our community to know we are here to help."

Heather Denne’, Ph.D., director of Community Development distributes children’s books, hats and gloves during the Crop Drop. Denne’ says, “This event keeps me up at night worrying about the well-being of those in our community. I want our community to know we are here to help.” (Photo by Charles Smith/University Communications)

The drive-up took place from 9 a.m. until noon in the parking lot of Blackburn Middle School located at 1311 West Pearl Street. The items were distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“A lot of things have impacted the price of food,” said Lee Payton, a third-year student and graphic designer. “People are finding it difficult to make ends meet, so it feels good to volunteer for events that display the passion our university has for this community.”

Markyel Pittman, Mister Junior 2021, said he volunteered his time because he aims to be an example of leadership and service.

“This event gives to a community that gives so much to JSU. People are excited to be here, and the line of cars is backed up to Ellis avenue. I just can’t believe it.”

President Thomas Hudson poses with student volunteers during the Crop Drop. These students are proud members of the Class of 2025. (Photo by Charles Smith/University Communications)

President Thomas Hudson poses with student volunteers during the Crop Drop. These students are proud members of the Class of 2025. (Photo by Charles Smith/University Communications)