Good Sam, Good Brief an update from The Good Samaritan Center - Spring 2021

In this edition:

  • Hub for the Hungry turns 1 Year Old!
  • Senior Food Box Deliveries
  • Golden Key EnVision Center Involvement
  • Plaza Bingo
  • Volunteer Spotlight - Mary Hauck
  • Laurel Soup Kitchen Levels Up
  • Neat Used Things for Sale is OPEN!
  • We're Hiring!
  • Kick Up The Dust 2021
  • Upcoming Events

Hub for the hungry

Powered by Good Sam and Extra Table, the Hub for the Hungry program unites Mississippi nonprofit agencies with food distribution companies and local farmers.

Dynamic Duo! Martha Allen (Exec. Director - Extra Table) & Kathy Clem (Exec. Director - Good Sam)
As "the Hub" recently celebrated its 1-year anniversary, we are mindful of how it all began.... a collaboration no one saw coming, but a collaboration that is definitely here to stay!
“From the moment things began to shut down because of the pandemic, these businesses stepped up to help Good Samaritan and Extra Table salvage, store and distribute fresh food products. This was food that was earmarked for schools and restaurants, but those places were now closed. The Hub was able to save the food and make sure it was given out to charities and churches helping struggling families throughout the state,” said Good Sam Executive Director, Kathy Clem, on the Hub’s beginnings.

Hub for the Hungry's outreach is much larger than just the Jackson Metropolitan Area; salvaged food from The Hub travels all the way to food pantries in the Delta, for instance.

Various groups, such as churches, charities, food pantries and soup kitchens, come from all over to pick up from Hub for the Hungry, and then distribute to their own areas of outreach.

In just ten months, "the Hub" has salvaged over one million pounds of food - 74,000 of those pounds were all in one day! 💪🏽 💪🏼 💪🏾

socially distanced..... working together... we love our Hub partners!

Good Samaritan Center would like to thank each of our partners who have helped us (both past and present) carry out #HubfortheHungry's twofold mission to salvage food and to promote/provide food security.

  • Extra Table
  • Central Mississippi Planning Development District
  • KLLM Transport
  • Merchants Foodservice
  • Salad Days
  • Two Dog Farms
  • PortaBull Storage
  • S & B Trucking
  • Puckett Machinery

Senior food box Deliveries and case management

Believe it or not, the pandemic has blessed our organization in so many ways. Our Senior Food Box Deliveries program at Delhaven Manor and Golden Key Apartment complexes is just one way. We noticed a need to keep our sweet senior friends at home during, and even after, "shelter in place" guidelines. We took that opportunity to provide nutritious and fresh food to our clients; however, it's more than just DoorDash. Good Samaritan case managers take the time to check-in monthly (via phone) on their Golden Key & Delhaven clients.

Fridays are for Senior Deliveries :)

In partnership with Jackson Housing Authority, Good Sam has had the opportunity to case manage and advocate for our seniors at Golden Key Apartment complex. Seeing our clients on a monthly, sometimes weekly, basis, has only strengthened the relationships we have within our little community. There are currently 100 residents on our Senior Food Box Delivery program.

Additionally, Good Sam is looking forward to a new senior grocery delivery collaboration with MS Food Network, which will total over 250 boxes and add over 150 new individuals to our monthly food assistance.

Golden Key EnVision Center Involvement

Since taking on the role of case managing for Golden Key Apartments, Good Sam has had the privilege in joining the efforts of seeking an official EnVision Center designation for the newly renovated Golden Key Activities Center. The center recently received official designation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson.

GKEC seeks to unlock doors of opportunity for families and individuals through economic empowerment measures, educational advancement programs, health and wellness initiatives, and character and leadership development, while creating a sense of belonging in the community. Its founders believe these four guiding principles are the “golden keys” to achieving self-sufficiency and advancement.

Good Sam's involvement with the GKEC has led to great opportunities for the seniors we advocate for, as well as the local community.

Earlier this year, Good Sam staff spent time in the community (sometimes, that even meant going door-to-door!) scheduling free COVID-19 vaccination appointments for our clients. The vaccination drive, a collaboration between Good Sam, Jackson Housing Authority, and Walmart Pharmacy, was set up at the Fannie Lou Hamer Library at the new Golden Key EnVision Center located off of Albermarle Road in Jackson.

Who doesn't love a good photo booth!?

Executive Director of Jackson Housing Authority, Allison Cox, was ecstatic about the opportunity for the community.

“It was important to Jackson Housing Authority that we make the previously difficult to obtain vaccines readily available for an often under-served community. Jackson residents are ready to return to some degree of normal and this is a great start."

Good Sam staff worked hard to schedule appointments for Good Sam’s senior clients.

“This has been a fabulous opportunity to help eligible seniors and disabled clients that don’t have a computer or internet access get the vaccination. Going door to door to sign folks up and also having a phone number for folks to call to schedule appointments has made a huge difference. In addition, having the vaccination site within an easy close walking distance has been huge for so many of our clients,” Clem said.

Moreover, Good Sam has collaborated with Central Mississippi Planning & Development to provide a congregate meal program for seniors and those who are disabled through the new EnVision Enrichment program at GKEC.

Out of caution during the pandemic, the meals are grab-n-go style for now. Eventually, participants will be allowed to socialize safely with planned activities and provided lunch Monday through Friday mornings.

Program participants can pick up their meal boxes every Friday between 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Plaza Bingo

Plaza Bingo patrons #havingfunwhilemakingadifference!

One of Good Samaritan Center's major year-round fundraisers is its Plaza Bingo in Laurel, MS. Located at 986 N 16th Ave Laurel, MS 39440, Plaza Bingo hosts locals and travelers every Thursday through Monday, for some fun down at the bingo hall!

With recent hall renovations, computer upgrades, and bigger & better handhelds set to "auto daub," we're excited for the future of Plaza Bingo! For more information on specific programs, games and special events, please visit our website at playplazabingo.com.

Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Mary :)

Mary Hauck is a retired IT support specialist, part-time baker, and at one point during the midst of the pandemic was a "full-time" Good Sam Volunteer!

While Mary was a regular volunteer at Good Samaritan Center’s various special events throughout the years, in 2020 she became an active member of our "COVID Crusader" volunteer cadre. In March, when our fundraisers all had to close, Good Sam had to lay off 47 of 53 employees. While some of the staff would immediately come back to work through an internship program in collaboration with Central MS Planning and Development, these staff (interns) could not drive, which severely limited Good Samaritan's daily operations.

As we were embarking on the new Hub for the Hungry collaboration as well as our new Senior Food Box Delivery and Case Management program for individuals at Golden Key & Delhaven apartment complexes (read above for more information), we needed drivers to keep things rolling! With our staff unable to drive on the intern program, Mary stepped in immediately as a lead volunteer.

She was not scared to drive our big box truck and pick up donated food products from various sources or to help take food to our vulnerable clients. She was a regular on the schedule often volunteering 15-20 hours per week. Not only did she drive, but she was the first person in line helping to load or unload salvaged food. She also spent time once a month ferrying food product to our soup kitchen and food pantry in Jones County.

When asked why she continues to stay working at Good Sam, Mary simple says,

"Well I like y'all's mission, and you can see an immediate impact."

Outside of Good Sam, Mary enjoys kayaking, baking, crossword puzzles, and spending time with her goddaughter.

Using her love for gardening and her information technology experience, Mary has been the lead volunteer in our client community garden and our go-to person for all things technology... she recently worked hand-in-hand with CSpire during Good Sam's facility-wide phone system upgrade.

Mary freely gave of herself, her knowledge, and her heart during a very stressful time when many others stopped volunteering. She would be the first person to answer any call for help and often one of the last to leave for the day. She willingly followed our intense safety protocols and showed up day after day with enthusiasm and a smile often when staff and clients were tired, worried, or scared. She is a true Good Sam hero and the epitome of a COVID Crusader.

If you'd like to join Mary in volunteering, Good Sam hosts Volunteer Saturdays every third Saturday in Jackson. You can find more info on Good Sam's social media pages.

Laurel Soup Kitchen Levels up

Did you know Good Sam operates the only soup kitchen in Jones County??

The Laurel Soup Kitchen serves 300 meals each day now. While the number of meals served has increased, the variety of meals has also increased.

Our Laurel Soup Kitchen has recently stepped up its menu game... with tentative full menus for each week posted on our social media pages @goodsamlaurel. It's "food so good you'd pay for it.... but it's free!" That being said, donations are always welcome! :)

Snapshots from @goodsamlaurel social media

At the same location as the soup kitchen, clients can also receive case management (including SNAP application assistance and food assistance). The Food Pantry assists with take-home groceries. Good Sam's Laurel Food Pantry is one of the few food pantries in the county as well!

Neat Used Things for Sale

Banana rasta made a visit to NUTS!

Good Sam has TWO Neat Used Things for Sale locations - NUTS (Midtown) Jackson & NUTS Laurel.

Though once temporarily closed due to COVID, Good Sam's fundraiser thrift stores are OPEN and ready for shoppers!

nuts jackson

114 Millsaps Ave., Jackson, MS 39202

Wednesday - Friday 10AM-5:30PM | Saturday 10AM-5PM

nuts laurel

986 N 16th Ave Laurel, MS 39440.

Wednesday - Saturday 9AM-6PM

You can follow both stores on Facebook & Instagram.

Each store also has its own text club. NUTS text club members receive SMS messages periodically with notifications on exclusive sales, customer-wide sales, store closures, special events, etc.

It's easy-peasy to sign up! Just text the keyword "SHOPNUTS" to 224-54 to join the NUTS JACKSON text club OR text the keyword "GONENUTS" to 224-54 to join the NUTS LAUREL text club.

special coupon for our newsletter readers...

Show the following graphic to your cashier BEFORE checkout to receive 50% off your purchase.

  • one time use only
  • expires June 30, 2021
  • cannot be combined with other discounts
  • excludes furniture
  • Jackson location only
did you know?

At Good Sam's Jackson location, through our clothing assistance social service program, clients are allowed to "shop" for free, every six months in the Clothing Closet warehouse.


In Laurel, Good Sam does not have a freeclothing warehouse. Instead, our clients can shop for free, twice a year, for clothing at the NUTS store.

We're Hiring!

Wanna join the Good Sam fam? Our organization has several different positions available.

Job Openings (Jackson location):

  • Director of Social Services
  • Director of Volunteers
  • Warehouse Manager (Clothing Closet & Donations)
  • NUTS Jackson Assistant Manager
  • NUTS Jackson Sales Associate
  • Warehouse Assistant (Food Pantry/CC/Store)

Job Openings (Laurel location):

  • Bingo Assistant
  • NUTS Laurel Sales Associate
  • Bingo Concessions Cashier

For more information on current job openings, please visit our website (link below).

We had the BEST time at...

Kick up the dust 2021

April 3, 2021 - Clinton, MS

On Saturday, April 3rd, Good Sam was able to execute its first in-person fundraiser event in over a year! It was such a good "family reunion," we like to call it. Without all the staff, volunteers, participants, and donors, this event couldn't have been what it was... and it was AWESOME!

We had a record number of 145 registrants for this year's Kick Up The Dust trail run. Congratulations to each winner! And THANK YOU to each participant.

2021 Results:

Top Male Finisher 4K: Evan Hallford, Top Female Finisher 4K: Abbey Phillips, Top Male Finisher 8K: Truman Poole, Top Female Finisher 8K: Logan Barlow, Top Male Finisher 14K: Justin Rogers, Top Female Finisher 14K: Jessica Diamond

It was such a beautiful day for a trail run!

For more pictures from this year's event, visit our Kick Up The Dust 2021 Facebook album here.

Upcoming events:

If you'd like to participate in Good Sam's other two charity races this year, registrations for Balloon Chase (July 3rd) & Golf Ball Drop (July 3rd) and 12K's for the Holidays (November 20th) are LIVE now. You can register TODAY by clicking the corresponding button below.

On a more regular basis, Good Sam hosts #VolunteerSaturday every third Saturday of the month. The next one will be May 15, 2021. To RSVP, direct message us on our Instagram or Facebook accounts or call the Jackson office.

Thanks for reading :)