Toiletries, nonperishable food top needs for shelters

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; Don’t bring more clothes for hurricane evacuees in the Miss-Lou &045; at least until further notice.

That was the message from Kathy Stephens, director of the United Way of the Miss-Lou, on Tuesday.

&uot;We’ve been inundated with clothes&uot; since a call for those and other items for evacuees went out last week, Stephens said.

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What’s most needed are toiletries such as shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and the like, which can still be brought to Jefferson Street United Methodist Church. In addition, nonperishable food is needed and can be brought to the Salvation Army on North Canal Street, Stephens said.

But water’s not a priority &uot;because the (tap) water in Natchez is perfectly fine,&uot; she added.

Officials at shelters throughout Concordia Parish said they have enough supplies of all kind for immediate needs, though conditions may change in the coming days.

Jenny Blunschi of the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office said donations can be brought to the CPSO training center on Louisiana 15, though the office has adequate supplies of everything it needs for the moment.

Parish shelters have more clothing than they need.

Another new development: starting today and continuing every day until further notice, part of Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church at Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. streets will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. each afternoon. There, volunteers will help evacuees select the items they need.

Recipients &uot;must show a picture I.D. that shows they’re from one of the affected areas,&uot; Stephens said.

For its part, the Red Cross cannot accept any individual donations of items &045; only financial donations and donations of bulk items, such as cases of prepackaged food from a business, said Lori Rosen, a national Red Cross representative being stationed in Natchez.

&uot;We would leave (collecting and distributing) other items to the United Way, which can coordinate that with its agencies,&uot; Rosen said.

Christian Schmidt contributed to this report.