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Funeral home gives back to local frontline workers

NATCHEZ — Last week, volunteers of Bateaste Memorial Funeral Home in Natchez gave back to the frontline workers of the COVID-19 pandemic at Merit Health Natchez by feeding them.

Funeral Home Director Ken Bateaste said he and his wife, Beaulah, prepared barbeque chicken, green beans, rice, bread and apple cobbler to distribute to roughly 240 hospital staff members on Friday.

“We wanted to do something for them due to the pandemic and what we’ve been seeing across the state and the country and all other situations they encounter every day,” Bateaste said. “They were greatly appreciative of what we did for them. The CEO and CFO thanked us for taking time to give back and even some of the employees in different areas of the hospital stopped us on the elevators. For them it has been busier this time of year than when the pandemic started in March or April.”

Funeral home staff members also volunteered their time to distribute plates at the hospital, Bateaste said, adding he plans to host a similar giveaway in the near future for another part of the community’s frontline workers.

“The community has been good to me and I’ve been in business here for 11 years,” he said. “We wanted to give back. At the end of the day, we were happy for the smiles that we got and the response from the higher administration on down. It’s a good feeling to see someone smile in the times we’re facing.”