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Community fuels Stewpot’s success

Stewpot had a successful 2013 and is ready for 2014. Last year, meals were prepared and served to those who needed them.

Recipients included the poor, handicapped, disabled, sick, homeless, etc. — in essence, those who could not secure or prepare their own meals. Meals served on Thanksgiving and Christmas days were very special, making many realize they also were involved in these occasions for celebration.

Included with these meals were gifts from ACCS and Cathedral School students. This year, we are ready to continue this necessary community work.

So many are responsible for Stewpot’s ability to continue. The gifts of non-perishable food and money during the holiday season were enough to fill our pantry and replenish a lower-than-comfortable bank account. Of course, we received and must receive donations throughout the year to sustain our operation — especially since donations are our only source of income. Don’t forget, we need you.

Repeating, this community has been and is the reason for Stewpot. It is impossible to thank all the churches, organizations, individuals, etc. You know who you are. All are essential. I have selected some to thank for what they do and will do.

Stewpot has one paid cook who supervises food cooking and serving. There are “regular” volunteers who help daily, many who help when they can and when extra help is needed. Church groups and Alcorn Nurses “run” Stewpot on Sundays. Thank you!

Volunteers at their own expense deliver meals to homes and low-income apartments. Some volunteers are church group members, and some are individuals. Deliveries are seven days a week.

Most volunteers deliver one day a week. Thank you!

The media informs the community about the needs of Stewpot and related events. This Thanksgiving/Christmas season, The Natchez Democrat published excellent articles about Stewpot. First Natchez Radio Group aired information and collected money. Thank you!

Churches are regular monthly contributors of money and volunteer time. Stewpot is an ecumenical operation. Thank you!

Hunters for the Hungry Program was responsible for directing deer meat to Stewpot. The organization paid for the processing by Dunn’s Deer Market. Hunters who gave their “kill” to Stewpot helped us provide many good, healthy meals. So many gave that it was impossible this year to thank each individually.

Dunn’s also gives us other processed deer meat. Thank you!

The Supervisors’ first-time, non-perishable food drive this fall at local grocery stores was a huge success. This refilled our pantry with food we will use for several months. Supervisors plan for this to be a yearly event. Thank you!

Hicks Wholesale has always given Stewpot a significant amount of food — especially meat. This enhances our meals. Thank you!

Annual events help Stewpot. Money is raised by Empty Bowls and Blueberry Festivals. The Stamp Out Hunger Program by the Postal Employees Union brings a large amount of non-perishable food when it is most needed at this time of the year.

We receive food from the Markets Food Show. Thank you!

I give up. Too many should be thanked that I haven’t space to mention. In fact, many gifts of time, money and food are unknown to us but so important. We need everyone’s support so Stewpot can continue its mission. At this time, 2014 is off to a good start. Thank you!


Louis Gunning is Stewpot director.