fill a truck 2015

LPD Lt. Earl Reed, left, and Chief Tyrone Stewart at the first Laurel Police Department Fill-a-Truck event.

From staff reports

The Laurel Police Department will host a summer food drive in honor of the late Police Chief Tyrone Stewart from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday, July 3 at Walmart. The donations will go to The Good Samaritan Center’s Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen. 

Stewart, a Laurel native who rose through the ranks from patrolman to the Chief of the LPD, passed away on Jan. 28. 

“Chief Stewart was always giving back to the community he served,” said LPD Capt. Shannon Caraway, “Our hope is to continue his legacy of service to the community and always give more than we receive.”

The Good Samaritan Center’s Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry were causes close to Stewart’s heart. 

“The chief always boasted the work of the Soup Kitchen to any and every one,” said Kathy Clem, executive director of the Good Samaritan Center. “He truly believed Laurel was a better place to live because of the Center and talked about the importance of volunteering to be of more service to the community.” 

Stewart started conducting “Fill-a-Truck” food drives to help the Center during the holiday months and would come by the Soup Kitchen to visit and serve his community on a regular basis. On the day of the Summer Food Drive, many officers will be out volunteering their time in tribute to Stewart. 

The Good Samaritan Center’s focus is to provide struggling low-income families with food and to assist the Department of Human Services and the American Red Cross in handling emergency food situations. Over the last year, Good Samaritan’s Food Pantry has helped more than 1,200 people with more than 27,500 meals, while its Soup Kitchen, which serves a hot lunch meal to those in need, has served approximately 80,000 meals over the last year. 

Food donations typically drop during the summer months, but the need remains high, particularly for families of children who normally receive lunches at school. The Center struggles to keep enough healthy, nutritious food on the shelves to support hungry families in need during the summer, officials there said.

The LPD will accept donations of non-perishable food items and cash donations for The Good Samaritan Center, as well. To make online donations, supporters can visit http://www.goodsamaritancenter.org. For more information, contact Sybil Sprouse at 601-670-6830 or sybilsprouse@goodsamaritancenter.org or Caraway at 601-470-8098.

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