LaGRANGE, Ga. (WRBL) – The non-profit organization, Pay It Forward 2k15, brought community members together and gave away over 30,000 pounds of chicken on Feb. 5, 2022.

President and CEO of Pay It Forward 2k15, Melissa Neal, is a LaGrange native and although she is now based out of Atlanta she returns home often to give back to the community.

“Atlanta is my home base for my non-profit and the goal is to have a location here in LaGrange as well. I want to be established here because of the connections that I have and I want to do more of what you see here,” said Neal.

The chicken giveaway is not the first time Neal has hosted a giveaway in her hometown. In the past, she has donated both food and clothing items to the community.

Along with all the volunteers that assisted with distributing the chicken, Neal received help from many partners including the Troup County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office has built a relationship with Neal and loaned her the space she needed to store all the chicken in their jail annex. They also helped Neal with a previous giveaway she did in the fall.

Sergeant Stewart Smith, the Public Information Officer for the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, said the department aims to give back to the community and the chicken giveaway was an example of that. They have participated in multiple giveaways for the community and officers will often volunteer their time to help.

“It benefits the community and we are huge on working with our community. It’s just a way for us to not be directly involved but just to have a behind the scenes work and help her get this out to the community,” said Smith.

Neal and Smith said the feedback they have heard from the community with giveaways like this one has been tremendous due to the need in the area. He also said the department looks forward to continuing their partnership with the non-profit organization in efforts to provide continued support for the community.

“Pay It Forward, our mission is to serve as a pillar in the community and what that means is, we like to close the gap for those who might be experiencing some type of food insecurity or any other types of hardships,” said Neal.