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Help us help those who really need it

As the Christmas season and the New Year approach, many organizations and individuals remember to help those who must have the Stewpot’s free daily meals.

Stewpot needs gifts of money, food and more, not only for holiday meals but more importantly for the year 2013.

Currently we are getting more and more requests for and are giving meals to more people who really need them. Read further for details on some we serve.

What help is needed? At this time there is a need for money for operating costs, which for the last six months have been more than the amount received — this is serious.

You can help by sending checks to Stewpot, P.O. Box 298, Natchez, MS, 39121.

Many groups collect non-perishable food for the Stewpot during Thanksgiving and Christmas season. This is a blessing to those who give and those who receive. Everything will be used now or next year.

The more we receive the less we spend for food. Now is the time to fill our storage area.

Items may be taken to the Stewpot at 69 East Franklin St. between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. If this is not convenient, call me at 601-442-2270.

Meat of course is a high-cost item. This year, Hunters for the Hungry has arranged to help with deer meat through local banks and Dunn’s Deer Market. Please take deer meat in any condition to Dunn’s. It will be processed and packaged. Charges will be paid by the Hunters organization. Dunn’s, as it does each year, gives us “scraps” from all the deer it processes.

Stewpot serves between 250 and 300 meals daily. To whom? There is the elderly lady who lives along in a small house who is constantly confined to one chair with only a small dog as a companion. Most days the only person she sees to break the loneliness is the volunteer who delivers and puts the Stewpot meal on the table next to her chair.

Many other similar recipients exist.

What about the man who is confined to his bed with medical devices connected to him? He is alone. Our volunteer puts the meal in his lap. No one else is there to help him.

Cancer patients too weak to come to the door receive meals, and couples trying to take care of each other, but who are too sick to prepare meals.

Stewpot is an ecumenical effort supported by churches, organizations, businesses, individuals and more. All money is given directly to and used exclusively by Stewpot for preparing and giving meals to those who need them.

We receive no federal, state or grant money. Volunteers do much of the work including delivery of meals to shut-ins. We have recently had to increase our staff to one full-time worker and one part-time worker.

In addition to those delivered, meals are served in our building’s dining area to anyone who comes in for a meal. The number of meals served varies between 250 and 300 daily, seven days a week.

We do the best we can to get meals to those who need them in the Natchez area.

Please continue to help those almost forgotten people with your gifts of money and food to Stewpot.

Repeating, checks for Stewpot may be sent to P.O. Box 298, Natchez, MS 39121.

Food especially non-perishable, may be taken to 69 East Franklin St., or call me at 601-442-2270.

Louis Gunning is the director of the Stewpot.