It is easy to get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that we forget about those less fortunate. This year, before beginning your own holiday shopping, we urge you to reach into your kitchen cabinets for food items for one of the shelters below that feed the homeless and less fortunate families of Jackson. Or collect cans from neighbors, family and friends, and make a larger donation to a food bank. Basic needs include: canned soups, fruits, vegetables, beans, canned meat and tuna fish, pasta, rice, cereal, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk and baby food. For specific donation requests, please contact the organizations at the numbers listed.
Many places that provided open lunch and dinner services in previous years are not able to do so this year, citing that their food pantry need was too great to be able to provide an open Thanksgiving meal. The following are places that will be serving Thanksgiving lunch and dinner this upcoming holiday.
Gateway Rescue Mission, 328 S. Gallatin St. Contact: Patricia Melvin, 601-353-5864 Serves meals 365 days a year, three times a day, lunch and dinner. Volunteers needed to serve.
Stewpot Community Services, 1100 W. Capitol St.; Contact: Tara Lindsey, 601-353-2759 Serves lunch every holiday noon-1 p.m.
The Salvation Army, 110 Presto Lane Contact: Jamie Leonard, 601-982-4881, ext. 116 Thanksgiving lunch served from noon to 1 p.m. Seeking volunteers for delivery routes.
Crestwood New Life Church, 1611 Bailey Ave. Contact: Janet Rayford, 601-353-7683 Thanksgiving lunch served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers needed to help serve.
Places that are not serving Thanksgiving meals but need food donations:
Catholic Charities, Inc., 200 N. Congress St. Contact: Mike Thomas, 601-326-3714 or 601-355-8634 Canned baby formula, baby food, rice, potatoes, soup and turkeys.
Operation Shoestring, 1711 Bailey Ave. Contact: Miss Spann, 601-353-6336 Canned foods, cornmeal, flour, sugar and turkeys. Seeking volunteers as well.
Good Samaritan Center, 114 Millsaps Ave. Contact: Kathy Clem, 601-355-6276 Donate to the food pantry year-round. Also, the center is currently "extremely low" on men's and children's clothing and shoes. Call now for Christmas dinner reservations.
Mississippi Food Network, 440 Beatty St., 601-353-7215 Canned goods including chili, beef stew, tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, vegetables, fruit, rice, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly. They can also use volunteers to help with their Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) boxes each month.
For information on any of Mississippi's shelters, call Family Crisis Shelter at 601-713-4357, or the United Way Information line at 601-948-4725, ext. 211.