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Larry James of Heartland Hands lays out the latest collection of goods at the food pantry, which is facing the need to leave its facility by the end of this year. 

The HeartLand Hands Food Pantry, which feeds thousands of individuals across DeSoto County and the Mid-South, is seeking prayers for its future and a new place to call home.

HeartLand Church, in which the food pantry has been housed for the past 13 years, is relocating to a smaller, down-sized church facility on Getwell Road.

Plans call for the church to celebrate its first service on Christmas Eve, according to Mike Higgins, who is pastor of the separate food pantry ministry as well as several other area ministries.

HeartLand Hands Food Pantry, Inc. is located one block east of Interstate 55 off the Stateline Road Exit. The entire building, which comprises a total of 124,000 square feet, is located east of Kroger and attached to the west side of HeartLand Church.

The HeartLand Church and food pantry space, all of which is owned by the City of Southaven, is listed on the commercial real estate market for a reported asking price of $1.5 million.

The HeartLand Church occupied 67,000 square feet of the 124,000 square feet.

Higgins had praise for Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite, who Higgins said has been very positive and reassuring about helping the food pantry secure space for its operations.

"Mayor Musselwhite has been very gracious to us," Higgins said. "The mayor has been an advocate for us and we are deeply grateful."

That being said, Higgins said the clock is ticking.

"We have until the end of the year, or until Dec. 31," Higgins said. "After that we are officially squatters."

Higgins said in the meantime, the food pantry has been in negotiations with Cornerstone Church, Life Fellowship Church and Brown Missionary Baptist Church, to be able to continue the food pantry's operations if and when the food pantry operation and ministry has to vacate the Heartland location on Stateline Road.

"We don't want to own a building," Higgins said. "We want to be a part of a larger scheme."

Robert Lee Long is Community Editor for the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at rlong@desototimestribune.com or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.

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