By Phil Hennin/Special to Lee County Neighbors
A small congregation of congregations appeared April 23 at the doorstep of the Salvation Army in Tupelo. Stone Soup Ministry, through the Lee Acres Church of Christ, sponsored a barbecue for anyone with an appetite on the front porch of the Salvation Army complex in Tupelo. Stone Soup began serving area low-income and homeless families and individuals this past winter.
“I wonder if we’ll ever get more than three people for lunch,” Melissa Pound said last March, when ice and cold were real barriers to the homeless. Pound is the driving force behind the recently formed Stone Soup Ministry. Tracy, another volunteer server at the barbecue lunch, turned to a woman with a paper tablet, standing at the head of the serving line and asked, “How many scratch-offs do you have now?”
“About 65.” Tracy looked at her watch and said, “About 30 minutes to go.”
George came for lunch today. George is a volunteer from All Saints Episcopal church on Jefferson St. in Tupelo, who helps serve a free breakfast from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. weekdays. A few representatives of area churches were unofficially present at the lunch. They were informally learning about how Stone Soup reaches those individuals in need.
“We had a lot of publicity in the paper this week,” Pound said.
Last winter, Pound and Stone Soup volunteers spent long hours in the ice and frigid temperatures serving hot soup and coffee to those less fortunate. Today, two churches combined resources for this special occasion barbecue of Easter weekend. West Jackson Street Baptist church also provided resources and volunteers for the barbecue luncheon. West Jackson Street Baptist church also provides meals, independently, usually on weekend evenings.
“We have a lot of donations. Donations given to the church,” said Tracy. At the lunch today bags full of useful items were distributed. Things like sunscreen, moisturizer, sunglasses, socks, and candy for the children. The Easter egg hunt was the first annual Easter event for children only. Tracy is also in charge of contacting attendees to ask if they need items like clothing or other resources. The ministry tries to fulfill all reasonable requests no later than the following week.
You can offer donations of any kind and be assured those donations will reach people who need them in a timely manner. More than 65 men, women and children were grateful for the kindness of strangers the Saturday eve before Easter.
For more information about Stone Soup Ministry, call Lee Acres Church at 844-3111 or contact Pound at firstname.lastname@example.org.