One year ago I walked into Extra Table as the first employee, and I was ready to change the world. I knew I was walking right into long hours, a zero budget, and a chance to do something I’d always dreamed of doing. I was certain I was participating, for the first time in my 27 years, in exactly what I was born to do, and I couldn’t have been more thankful, excited, and ready to get started.  Ready to be a voice for the voiceless, and finally a part of an organization that was going to bring about great change. Here we are one year later doing more than I could have dreamed, and growing quicker than I could have hoped.

In September of 2012 Laura Hunt, a senior at USM, approached us about interning at Extra Table, and, in serious need of some help, we jumped at the chance to snag such an incredible student who was willing to help us on a weekly basis with no pay and no school credit for her internship.  I’ve known Laura for around 7 years, so I knew what a catch we had on our hands.  My first taste in the non-profit world was with an organization created six years ago called Six Mile Drought.  Laura was one of many who helped birth the idea of Six Mile Drought, which raised money to build water wells in Africa.  Laura was 15 years old at the height of Six Mile Drought’s success, and was an integral part of raising over $18,000.00 to build water wells.  Six years later, we’re beyond excited to announce Laura Hunt as the new Marketing Director at Extra Table.  She’s officially joined the fight against hunger.

Laura is as impressive academically, a 2013 graduate of USM in Marketing Summa Cum Laude, as she is in the office when she’s busting out ideas to help Extra Table feed more people effectively.  At the top of her class, Laura’s options after graduation were limitless, yet she chose to accept a position at Extra Table where her overtime is paid in hugs from the homeless, smiles from kids, and “likes” on our Facebook page.  Laura is one of the sharpest individuals you’re going to come across, and she’s always two steps ahead.  It takes a person of great compassion and commitment to work in this industry, and Laura fits the bill. The perfect fit for Extra Table, Laura is one of the most honorable people I’ve ever met, and we’re lucky to have snagged her.

For the year 2013 we have already supplied more food to the hungry than we did in all of 2012. We’ve reached 49,000 hungry Mississippians with food in hand, and that’s because of you.  That’s over 15 tons of food, and with two sets of hands now working around the clock to end hunger, we’re one giant leap closer to ending hunger.  We’re no longer a one-man show.  We’re officially a two-man show.  That means double the hands and double the energy, and that doubles our chances of feeding more folks in Mississippi than we previously thought possible.  For the kids whose parents didn’t care if they got dinner or not, we’ll care.  For the widow who is out of options and can’t make ends meet, we’ll find an option.  For the disabled veteran who fought for my freedom, we’ll fight for his right to a meal.  For the mom who couldn’t afford a can opener to feed her hungry kids, we’ll provide food that doesn’t even need a can opener.  We’re here to end hunger, and now there are two of us.