Catch Together Program distribution gives back to the community

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We’re all in the same boat together, just one reason local fishermen, the nonprofit Extra Table, and others have jumped on board with the newly launched Catch Together program.

A special delivery at food banks throughout South Mississippi, 13,000 pounds of shrimp caught by local fishermen that will ultimately provide 36,000 meals for those in need throughout the Coast and other parts of our state.  Extra Table Executive Director Martha Allen said, “The organization Catch Together has funded Extra Table $50,000 to support Mississippi fishermen. Today we are distributing $50,000 worth of fresh catch from Mississippi waters, and able to support fishermen to do the work they’ve been shut down from doing for so much during COVID, and we’re getting the food to those who need it, so we’re delivering to food pantries and soup kitchens all throughout the state of Mississippi today.”

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Feeding the hungry while helping to keep food on the table for our local fishermen who have been hit by hard times and decreased demand by restaurants due to COVID hardships, this program is a win-win for all involved.

Leslie Ramon, executive director of Loaves and Fishes, says this catch will go a long way. “We don’t get fresh shrimp often. I think we got about 200 pounds, so we’re super excited. Our cook is from Mary Mahoney’s so hopefully he can whip up something good for us. I think everybody’s going to enjoy the change. I’m hoping for the gumbo, then we also have some fish that was delivered last week, so we’re going to fry some fish, fry some shrimp, a lot of things we can do with them.”

Shrimp was donated to several food pantries throughout South Mississippi, including Our Daily Bread. Event organizers hope this is a program that will continue.

But one thing is for sure, with all the chaos and unrest going on in the world, on this day an undeniable synergy, as people from all walks of life banded together on a single mission to help others. Jeffrey Hulum III with the Extend a Hand, Help a Friend nonprofit said, “This is what Mississippi is about. This is what the Gulf Coast is about. This is what it’s all about. Everybody coming out to help. No matter what your skin color is, it’s about what’s in your heart because we all bleed the same color.”

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned....