Mountaire receives thanks of grateful community

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Bruce Mooney of Mountaire Farms, at left, accepted citations from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and the Maryland State Senate from State Senator Addie Eckardt (R-37), center, at a ceremony hosted by Bishop Charles T. Cephas, at right. The event took place Tuesday at the Greater Full Gospel Church of God in Jesus in Hurlock.

HURLOCK — Times are tough for many, especially during the pandemic. For those residents of Delmarva who were already struggling, the loss of regular jobs and other opportunities has hit hard.

Mountaire Farms stepped up to meet needs, though, donated 55,000 pounds of chicken in the Mid-Shore in recent months. The company’s generosity was recognized in a ceremony Tuesday at the Greater Full Gospel Church of God in Jesus in Hurlock, where Mountaire representative Bruce Mooney accepted two citations from State Senator Addie Eckardt (R-37).
The event was hosted by Bishop Charles T. Cephas, who is also a leader of Minister and Citizens, as well as a Hurlock Town Council member.
Ministers and Citizens rented refrigerated trucks to store the chicken, as they held a series of events in which those needing food could drive or walk up, receive bags and be on their way, while maintaining a safe distance. Deliveries were also made to homes in Talbot and Caroline counties, distributing the chicken brought from Delaware to the Eastern Shore.

“They showed up because of their commitment to the people of this area,” Bishop Cephas said of Mountaire. “Today, we just want to say, ‘Thank you.’”
As she presented the citations — one from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and the other from the Maryland State Senate — Sen. Eckardt said, “It is amazing to talk to the families and see what people are going through.”
She acknowledged the value of the truckloads of food, saying, “That’s what it’s all about, helping people who don’t have a lot of resources,” adding, “We really are all in this together.”

Mr. Mooney said his company operates two processing plants in Delaware, and two in North Carolina, while being based in Arkansas. Many farms across Delmarva raise chickens for Mountaire.
“Our owner [Ronald M. Cameron] is a very religious man,” Mr. Mooney said. “Our creed is to use the assets God has given us to give back to the communities where we work, live and play. It’s in our DNA.”
Bishop Cephas said he would like to schedule another giveaway before winter. The pandemic isn’t over, he said, and the need goes on. He also commended Sysco Eastern Maryland for their donations of canned goods.
“A lot of people didn’t believe it, but people were suffering,” he said. “You are in Millsboro, and we are in Hurlock, but you came,” he said to Mr. Mooney.

Greater Full Gospel Church of God in Jesus is located at 204 Academy St. in Hurlock. Call 410-943-4077. Ministers and Citizens for Change and Growth is based at the church.
Attending the ceremony were Bruce Mooney of Mountaire Farms, Hurlock Town Manager John Avery, Hurlock Chief of Police Bruce Jones, Sister Geraldine Conway, Mother Barbara Dickerson, Cederick Turner, Elder David Dickerson, Monroe Quailes, David Ricks, Deacon Elijah Cephas, Ashley Cephas, State Senator Addie Eckardt (R-37), and Bishop Charles T. Cephas.

After the presentation, lunch was served, catered by Tomeka’s HomeStyle Eatery of Dover, Delaware.