‘Blessings’ served up with Thanksgiving Day meals

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 24, 2000

Turkey and dressing weren’t the only things being dished out at the Natchez Stewpot Thursday morning.

Each styrofoam plate came with a helping of Thanksgiving &uot;blessing&uot; shared by volunteers and meal recipients alike at the community kitchen on East Franklin Street.

&uot;We’ve really been blessed,&uot; said Flavius Freeman, Stewpot volunteer, as he sorted canned goods in the backroom.

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Shirley Wheatley, Stewpot director, said the Thanksgiving holiday, more so than any other, brings out the community spirit in people.

&uot;Christmas, for whatever reason, is a more personal holiday,&uot; she said. &uot;People seem to really want to show their community spirit on Thanksgiving.&uot;

Allen and Susan Ende came all the way from Chicago to spend their Thanksgiving morning preparing meals for the needy at the Natchez Stewpot Thursday.

Actually, the couple is visiting Natchez on a month-long tour of Mississippi and Louisiana.

While browsing through the Mostly African Market Wednesday, Mrs. Ende began talking with Wheatley.

When Ende mentioned that she and her husband had no plans for Thanksgiving, Wheatley told them about the Stewpot.

&uot;It’s nice because we don’t have any family with us,&uot; Mrs. Ende said. &uot;And Thanksgiving is kind of strange without something to do.

&uot;It really does make the day more meaningful, rather than just eating at Shoney’s.&uot;

Cook Johnnie Davis has been serving up hot meals to the needy and elderly at the Stewpot for more than eight years.

With 15 turkeys to prepare this year, Davis said she began cooking for Thanksgiving Wednesday.

&uot;But I only cooked five,&uot; she said modestly.

&uot;I’m used to (cooking large portions) because when the kids were at home, they ate a lot!&uot; she said.

Sarah Anderson, waiting on her carry-out meals, said she comes to the Stewpot regularly, not just for the food, but for the company.

James Smith, another elderly man, agreed. &uot;It’s nice to be around here, even if I don’t end up eating anything.&uot;

Filling in for a shortage in drivers Thursday, the Natchez Police Department helped deliver the more than 170 carry-out meals prepared by Stewpot volunteers.