extra table

Extra Table founder Robert StJohn and Extra Table executive director Martha Allen

Mississippi’s poultry and egg companies kicked off the holiday giving season with a donation of truckloads of chicken and eggs to Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday. 

Reeves directed the donation to Hattiesburg-based charity Extra Table, which was started by Leader-Call columnist and restaurateur Robert St. John to supply food pantries and soup kitchens around the state. 

“I am proud to direct the Mississippi Poultry Association’s generous donation of 575,000 servings of protein to Extra Table,” Reeves said. “Extra Table goes above and beyond throughout the state to make sure no family goes hungry, and their efforts are to be commended. I look forward to continue working with our partners to end hunger in Mississippi.” 

The Mississippi Poultry Association began this annual donation in 2011, and in 11, years has donated 3.9 million servings of protein. One pound of chicken equals four servings and one egg is a serving of protein. This year’s donation is nearly 600,000 servings. 

More companies than ever donated in a year in which the state’s largest agricultural industry has undergone a major transition. Sanderson Farms, Mar-Jac Poultry MS, Koch Foods, Peco Foods and Tyson Foods donated chicken. Amick Farms recently bought Wayne Farms’ Laurel plant and both companies are making donations. It was announced earlier this year that Wayne is acquiring Sanderson Farms. Cal-Maine Foods donated eggs. 

“We were all in agreement that our companies wanted to continue this tradition of assisting Gov. Reeves in helping out Mississippi families in need,” said MPA board Vice Chairman Dr. Ryn Laster, Cal-Maine Foods’ director of Food Safety and Animal Welfare. 

More than 31,000 people work directly in the poultry industry, which generates another 64,000 indirect jobs that are created because of the state’s largest agricultural industry. The industry has a $23 billion economic impact in Mississippi.

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