Laurel’s tuna collection goes swimmingly: City of Laurel makes significant donation to 2nd Annual March of the Mayors Food Drive

April 5, 2023

The 2023 March of the Mayors Food Drive saw the City of Laurel donate over 800 cans of tuna to help feed needy families in communities across the Pine Belt.

For the month-long event, each participating community collected an assigned item such as rice, beans or cans of tuna. The City of Laurel collected 854 five-ounce cans of tuna and 15 twelve-ounce cans of tuna for a total of 869 cans or 4,450 ounces. That’s a lot of fish!

On Wednesday, March 29th, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee, Battalion Chief Howard Kitchens and Battalion Chief Edwin Blue of the Laurel Fire Department loaded the tuna collected so that Kitchens and Blue could deliver it to the packing party location.

Kitchens and Blue then delivered the tuna to the Hunt Club campus of Venture Church in Hattiesburg where a team of volunteers from across the Pine Belt sorted, packed, and distributed food boxes containing tuna, peanut butter, noodles, corn, black-eyed peas, soup, granola bars, rice, dried beans, and other items collected by the regions’ 13 participating cities (Laurel, Collins, Columbia, Ellisville, Hattiesburg, Magee, Petal, Poplarville, Purvis, Sandersville, Seminary, Sumrall, and Wiggins).

The boxes were sent to food pantries in each of the 13 participating communities including the Good Samaritan Center in Laurel.

The City of Laurel and Mayor Johnny Magee thanks everyone who participated to make this event a success.

March of the Mayors is an annual food drive organized by Extra Table, a charitable organization started in 2009 by Hattiesburg restauranteur Robert St. John to benefit local food pantries. More information about Extra Table can be found at

The City of Laurel, established as a lumber town in 1882, is conveniently situated approximately two hours from larger destination cities such as Jackson, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Mobile. In recent years, the city has become a destination all its own thanks, in part, to its starring role in HGTV’s popular “Hometown” series. As Laurel, and interest in it, continues to grow, we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help all of our residents and businesses reach their full potential.
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