The Optimist Club of Jackson County convened for its bi-monthly meeting, Oct. 5 at Jim’s Buffet and Grill in Marianna.
The meeting was called to order by club president Lisa Gilbertsen. The prayer, pledge to the flag and Words of Encouragement were given.
For the first order of business, President Gilbertsen recognized Don Morris as the “Optimist of the Year” award recipient for 2021.
Morris gave his thanks to the club and said that the award should go to all of the club members who, by working together, can do great things, which makes it such a great club.
New member applicant Carol Maxson was introduced and welcomed.
Guest speaker Kerri Eaton, of Project Full Bellies, was introduced by President Gilbertsen.
Eaton gave an overview of what her program does in helping feed the hungry in Jackson County. She told us that we have 61% poverty in our county. Her program is 100% backed by donations. They did two full meals for over 200 families at Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. Her goal this year is to feed 250 families.
They also sponsor three pop-up tents that hold food for any who need it; there is one in Cottondale at the city hall area, one in front of the Jackson County Times and one at the First Methodist Church in Marianna. Anyone who would like to donate food that is easily opened – small cans of mac and cheese or spaghetti and meat balls, crackers, energy bars, etc. – is encouraged to drop them off at one of the three sites.