Churches, Stewpot join to help distribute food to the needy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 5, 2000

A monthly ritual took place at the Stewpot on East Franklin Street Tuesday to benefit needy families in the Natchez area. Thanks to a shipment from the Mississippi Food Network, members of approved agencies unloaded cases of food that are transported to Natchez monthly for distribution.

Ralph Jennings of Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church said his church is able to help 275 families quarterly with the program.

&uot;They indicate a lot of gratitude (for) this kind of assistance,&uot; Jennings said.

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U.S. 61 South Church of Christ, the Stewpot and the Jefferson Comprehensive Health Center in Fayette are two other nearby agencies that distribute the food.

The Mississippi Food Network is connected with the USDA and the Second Harvest National Food Bank Program, said Coleman K. Allmond of U.S. 61 South Church of Christ.

The food items are either provided free of charge by the USDA or sold to the various agencies at the low price of 14 cents a pound.

For Allmond that is one of the biggest advantages to this program. His church can help so many families at little expense.

&uot;We can allocated money (for the church’s food pantry) even though we’re a small church,&uot; Allmond said. The church budgets $50 a month for the food pantry and &uot;we don’t even spend that.&uot;

For example, the month the church purchased 24 frozen turkeys for only $42 and purchased several cases of Trix cereal, with each case costing $1.80 for 14 boxes of cereal.

&uot;You’d be surprised what you get for the amount of money you put into it,&uot; Leon Wiley, a member of U.S. 61 South Church of Christ.

The church helps about 50 families a month from the deliveries, Allmond said.

Richard Rogers, a member of Rosehill Missionary Baptist Church, was one of many people who helped unload food Tuesday.

&uot;I just like to help (and I’ve) got nothing else to do,&uot; Rogers said. &uot;The church will bless me and the Lord will bless me.&uot;