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It’s Tuna Season in Laurel!

Typically, tuna season runs from June to August, but in Laurel, Mississippi, nearly 100 miles from the nearest ocean, February 21 to Friday, March 1 will serve as tuna season throughout the City Beautiful.

On Wednesday, February 21, at 9 a.m. Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee declared the next two weeks to be Tuna Season in the city with a proclamation signing at City Hall.

The proclamation encouraged citizens to collect and donate canned tuna for the March of the Mayors food drive hosted by Extra Table.

Extra Table is a non-profit organization established by local restauranteur Robert St. John to address hunger and obesity across the state. One of the annual programs that the organization hosts is the March of the Mayors food drive wherein cities within a region of the state are assigned a healthy, non-perishable food item to collect. Once the cities have collected their items, they deliver them to a central location for a packing party where volunteers pack up shoebox size containers with a selection of items collected from each city. The shoeboxes are then packed on pallets and distributed to partner food pantries throughout the area.

For the Pine Belt Region, the City of Laurel collects canned tuna, Collins and Magee collect spaghetti noodles, Columbia collects dried beans, Ellisville collects granola bars, Hattiesburg collects peanut butter, Lumberton and Petal collect canned fruit, Purvis and Sandersville collect canned green beans, Poplarville and Wiggins collect rice, and Sumrall collects canned corn.

This year’s partner agencies include USM Eagle’s Nest, Christian Services, Petal Children’s Taskforce, Sumrall Food Pantry, Brother’s Keepers Ministries, Hope Community Collective, UMS Magee Pantry, the Baptist Association and the Good Samaritan Center in Laurel.

To encourage participation the City of Laurel is hosting a “fishing contest” between City Hall, the Laurel Fire Department and the Laurel Police Department to see which one can collect the most cans of tuna. The winning department will be awarded the traveling “Big Tuna” trophy. The floor of City Hall that collects the most will be awarded the “Lil Tuna” trophy.

Donations can be dropped off at the Laurel-Jones County library, City Hall, the Laurel Police Department, or any of the city’s fire stations.

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