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A true giant

Brawny is a household name in paper towels, and the company recently honored one of our local “household names” here in Suffolk.

Lorna Slaughter was a giant even before the COVID-19 pandemic. For years, she has made it her mission to help people in Suffolk get enough food to eat through the food bank run by the ministry she co-founded, Suffolk Christian Fellowship Ministry and Suffolk Christian Fellowship Center. People line up on weekdays at the location on East Washington Street to get baskets of food they can take home to their families.

In March, at the beginning of the pandemic, rather than pull back on the ministry’s activities out of fear, she broadened them. Where many people would have seen a reason to narrow the scope of what they were doing, she saw an even greater reason to do something she had wanted to do all along — mobile food pantries.

Knowing that many people in rural areas of the city can’t always make it to downtown, she started scheduling outreaches. Marshaling volunteers and partnering organizations, Slaughter made sure hundreds of people in Whaleyville, Holland, Hobson and other outlying communities within Suffolk were served with groceries and other essentials. Now, she’s even taking the ministry across state lines, with a giveaway planned for Gates County in September.

Slaughter recently was nominated for and received the Brawny Giant award, which comes with $2,500 and 900 rolls of its paper towels. One of her volunteers nominated her, and a phone interview with Brawny’s public relations firm sealed the deal. It’s about time that everyone recognized what we’ve seen all along — Slaughter and so many others like her who are doing great work in Suffolk.

Brawny is to be commended for recognizing people like Slaughter, and we especially thank Slaughter for all of the good work she’s doing in our community.