Food Pantry helping more and more in need

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 18, 2008

This is the 18th and final article in a series of stories highlighting charitable giving and the agencies in need in the Miss-Lou.

NATCHEZ — The Catholic Charities Food Pantry has one, albeit simple, goal — help those in need.

The Food Pantry Program Coordinator Tommy Jackson said the pantry is focused on more than just providing food to the area’s needy.

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“We try to help them with anything we can,” Jackson said. “That’s what we’re here for.”

While Jackson said the pantry has offered help with new clothing, medications and even housing — their primary focus is food distribution to those who need it.

And in the current economy, Jackson has seen an increased number of those in need of help around this holiday season.

But it’s not just the number of those needing help that has increased.

Jackson said this year he has seen more people in what many would consider middle class or upper-middle class in need of food.

“They just don’t have enough food to make it until the end of the month,” he said. “And these are people you wouldn’t think would need help.”

To accommodate those in need of help, the pantry is moving up its normal food distribution day to help out families for Christmas.

Jackson is expecting to provide enough food to feed 400 families today.

To do that, he’s been stocking the warehouse with canned goods, boxed foods and even cases of frozen turkeys, thanks to one local grocer.

But without that food, which all comes from donations, Jackson can’t do much.

“We rely on those donations,” he said.

Food and monetary donations can be sent to the Food Panty at 212 Shields Lane, Natchez, MS 39120. Checks should be made out to the Catholic Charities Food Pantry.

“We need all the help we can get,” he said.

Jackson also said the pantry accepts deer meat from local hunters.

“We won’t turn anything away,” he said.