On a Wednesday afternoon in May, our office received a phone call from an organization explaining their commitment to helping in our area and details of food assistance they would be able to provide to Tunica County. Sheriff Hamp eagerly rose to the challenge and organized a plan to take 600 food boxes directly to communities within the county the very next morning. An expected 250 boxes turned to 600+ when the first truck arrived. On the first day of distribution, staff loaded trailers and vehicles and set out to canvas neighborhoods to deliver boxes of fresh produce to citizens of Tunica County. From that, the distribution grew to a weekly occurrence every Thursday.
Within the first month, we were able to travel to every neighborhood within our county and deliver boxes. At that point, our initial donor recognized the incredible impact this program produced and was able to double the quantity of boxes. As concerns of the virus continued, Sheriff Hamp and Staff re-evaluated their plan and reformed the distribution to be a weekly drive-through box distribution. This shift in distribution allowed us to extend the invitation to our friends and families in neighboring counties. By mid-June, we were serving thousands of households each week, even during the scorching summer heat, torrential downpouring rains, windy days, and early winter chilly temperatures. At the end of it all, we were able to serve over 63,000 households with this assistance.
The holidays are a time of reflection, a time to express gratitude for all that we have. In this season of gratitude, I'd like to give thanks for all of the wonderful things these organizations responsible for making this project possible did to help our community. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, they enabled us to transform from merely a public safety organization to a COVID-19 emergency relief organization. During this time of uncertainty, it makes us feel so grateful to help make sure families in our community did not have to worry about food. We are eternally grateful for the support, generosity, and dedication to making a difference for so many. It has been a pleasure to hear community support and feedback on the impact this assistance was able to create.
We will be forever grateful for the phone call in May that made all of this possible. Thank you to each employee of our distributors that helped rise to the challenge each week from assembling boxes, packing boxes, loading trucks, driving to distribution sites, unloading boxes, organizing schedules, managing the program, and answering the call of duty to enable us to be able to serve.
As your Sheriff's Office of Tunica County, we are thankful for the opportunity we were allowed to make a difference in the lives of so many families during challenging times of 2020. As we look ahead to 2021, we are hopeful for better days for all. We will continue to seek opportunities to allow us to better serve those of you in our communities.