BRITTNEY LOHMILLER / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Debbie Ellis, left hugs Carrie Minor and thanks Minor for offering to bring a hot Thanksgiving Day meal to her and her grandson. Minor has spent the past 7 years  delivering food and estimates that she'll give out 200 dinners this year. "It fills my heart to be able to help," Minor said.
BRITTNEY LOHMILLER / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Debbie Ellis, left hugs Carrie Minor and thanks Minor for offering to bring a hot Thanksgiving Day meal to her and her grandson. Minor has spent the past 7 years delivering food and estimates that she'll give out 200 dinners this year. "It fills my heart to be able to help," Minor said.

Natchez woman feasts by feeding those without

Published 12:04am Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NATCHEZ — Evangelist Carrie Minor has spent the past six Thanksgivings feeding people who may not have otherwise had a holiday meal.

But it is more than food that Minor hopes she is giving to those who line up every year for her Harvest of Plenty dinner at the W.A. Edney Masonic Temple.

BRITTNEY LOHMILLER / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Nicholas Webb, left talks with Carrie Minor about his grandmother's Thanksgiving Day plans. Minor has spent the past 7 years  delivering food and estimates that she'll give out 200 dinners this year. "It fills my heart to be able to help," Minor said.
BRITTNEY LOHMILLER / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Nicholas Webb, left talks with Carrie Minor about his grandmother’s Thanksgiving Day plans. Minor has spent the past 7 years delivering food and estimates that she’ll give out 200 dinners this year. “It fills my heart to be able to help,” Minor said.

“I give them some food so they have something to eat on, and then I give them the word so they have something to feast on,” she said. “God’s word is our food.”

Minor said she was preparing Thanksgiving dinner for her family seven years ago when God spoke to her about feeding the hungry.

“The spirit spoke to me,” she said. “It said, ‘You need to be able to go and bless somebody else. Go out, and take your family to the streets.’”

So Minor packed her trunk full of plates of food, and she and her then 6-year-old grandson, Kenyata Minor Jr., set out to deliver the food.

As Minor and her grandson began passing out plates of food to people on the streets of Natchez, Minor said she was moved by people’s reaction.

“It was about 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and some of them said they hadn’t had anything to eat all day,” she said.

Minor again brought food to people on the streets or at their homes the next year. When Harvest of Plenty grew too big for Minor and volunteers to make all the deliveries, Monroe Sago let her use his car lot to set up a tent for the dinner.

This year will be the third Thanksgiving the dinner has been at the W.A. Edney Masonic Temple. Minor moved the dinner inside so people have a place to come in out of the weather to eat. Minor and her volunteers also deliver food to those who are not able to travel to the dinner.

Harvest of Plenty fed 200 people last year, Minor said. Minor and donations from community members pay for the food to be catered by Southside Market. Donated clothes are also available at the dinner for those who need them.

If donations for Harvest of Plenty exceed what Minor needs to pay for the food, Minor uses the money to buy clothes, food and toys for needy children at Christmas.

It is Minor’s hope that someday the people she feeds will feed others.

“I hope they will have God’s compassion, and one day they will go out and feed someone themselves,” she said. “If it’s not but one plate, I believe God would be so pleased.”

Minor, who founded Open Arm Ministry, said feeding people God’s word is just as important as feeding them food.

“I tell them all that God loves them, but God just doesn’t love your sins,” she said. “But I don’t judge them. Because I know He will judge them, I judge them not.”

The seventh annual Harvest of Plenty will be from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at 80 Aldrich St., across the street from Williams Apartments. Minor can be reached at 601-445-4210.