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The Dart: Natchez woman helps feed hungry through Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church food pantry

NATCHEZ — More than 300 families and approximately 150 elderly people receive food through the Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church thanks to one Natchez woman and her volunteers.

Nicole Williams, director of the Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church food pantry, began serving the elderly and families in need at the pantry in 2014.

When The Dart landed on Friday afternoon near Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, Williams was preparing a brown box filled with food a local family.

“Through the Mississippi Food Network, we provide different foods for them (people who lost their homes and have no food),” Williams said. “It’s a variety of food that we give to the needy each month.”

With the help of six other volunteers, Williams said the food pantry is able to serve its clients faster and more efficiently than ever before.

“They take out their time because they have jobs that they do,” Williams said. “I have guys who lift the heavy stuff, ladies who put food in the boxes and ship it out so everyone can receive their food. My volunteers work hard.”

In a brown box for each month, an elderly person or family in need of food receives dry goods (rice, potatoes and canned goods), produce (bananas, apples and other fruits and vegetables) and frozen foods.

On the first and last Thursday morning of each month, Williams and her volunteers help compile and serve boxes to the clients.

Williams said working with the food pantry has made a difference for her on a personal level.

“Working in the food pantry has changed my life,” Williams said. “It’s important because we [Williams and her children] could have been needing food. I can go to my refrigerator, get food and I don’t have to go somewhere else or ask somebody for food. It helps me to love people more and appreciate my blessings.”