Season of Wishes: Donations help feed Stewpot

Published 12:01 am Friday, December 12, 2014

People lineup for Thanksgiving dinner at the Stewpot. (File photo / The Natchez Democrat)

People lineup for Thanksgiving dinner at the Stewpot. (File photo / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — After experiencing a bump in the road during the Thanksgiving Holidays, the Stewpot has rebounded, hopeful to make another big splash this Holiday season.

“We were about $12,000 short this year after Thanksgiving, however, Christmas has been very good, and we’re looking to be back to where we were by the first of the year,” Stewpot director Louis Gunning said.

The Stewpot, which has been operating since 1985 in Natchez, serves 300 meals a day, including Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, to primarily elderly disabled people in the area. Along with serving food at its location in Natchez, the Stewpot delivers meals seven days a week to those who are incapable of preparing a meal for themselves.

Email newsletter signup

Only the chef and the manager have salaries with the organization, which makes the organization dependent on volunteers. Gunning said between the many people rotating duties to deliver plates of food, roughly 30 people volunteer to help serve every week.

“We completely depend on the community,” Gunning said. “We could always use prayers, money and food.”

Gunning said two upcoming events are crucial for the Stewpot’s steady growth. The first is the Adams County Board of Supervisors “Pack the Pickup” food drive, where the supervisors each lead a team of county employees and elected officials in an effort to stock the Stewpot’s shelves with food. Following behind in the month of February is the Natchez Clay Empty Bowl Project, where potters make bowls and have a party in which they serve gumbo in the bowls and allow consumers to take the bowl home. Both projects serve as fundraisers for the Stewpot.

“It’s important for people to be aware of these two huge events,” Gunning said. “These events drastically help us.”

Most of the Stewpot’s money stems from donations from churches and other organizations, as Gunning said the Stewpot does not receive any grants.

The community’s giving thus far has allowed The Stewpot to spend only 75 cents per meal.

“That’s pretty cheap,” Gunning said.

Anyone wishing to donate money can mail checks to P.O. Box 298, Natchez, MS, 39121.

Food donations can be taken to the Stewpot, located at 69 E. Franklin St., from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information, contact Gunning at 601-442-2270.