Meek Foundation donates $100K in challenge grant

Published 10:14 am Thursday, September 14, 2023

The Ed and Becky Meek Foundation has provided a $100,000 challenge grant to the Oxford Pantry in support of the pantry’s planned $200,000 expansion. The expansion includes reinforcing the existing structure, building a larger loading dock for deliveries and adding a new walk-in refrigerator and freezer for storage.

“We welcome the opportunity to support the pantry and salute the many volunteers and organizations that are a part of the pantry program,” said Meg Sinervo, executive director of the Meek Foundation.

Established in 1982, the pantry’s mission has been to provide the opportunity for those who have enough to eat to share with those who lack sufficient food in the Oxford-Lafayette County community. Services at the pantry include one-week groceries to eligible clients, consultations with a trained counselor and legal advice from supervised law students from the University of Mississippi. Nearly 16,400 visits were made to the pantry in 2022, an increase from 12,400 visits in 2021. Fourteen local churches are organizations that help manage and volunteer at the pantry throughout the year.

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The gift honors long-time pantry volunteer Gene Hartley.

“We appreciate this gift so much,” said Ann O’Dell, pantry president. “Expanding the pantry’s facilities will enable the pantry to continue developing much-needed resources in our community.”

Donations can be sent by check to PO Box 558, Oxford, MS 38655 or online at Please designate the donation for “The Pantry Expansion.”