Tupelo deacon reaches out to the homeless

Holiday feedings
Free meals will be served today at the following locations:
• The Salvation Army, Carnation Street in Tupelo, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Cravin’ Catfish, 101 Cemetery Lane in Sherman, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
• Rick’s Barbecue, U.S. 78 in Fulton, takeouts from 10 a.m.-11 a.m., lunch served 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

– To inquire about United Brothers and Sisters of Lee County, contact Mack Turner at 255-3250

TUPELO – When you’re homeless and hungry, it’s hard to know where to start looking for help, and that’s why Mack Turner tries to stay very visible.
“People sometimes just stop me on the street and ask for help,” said the 62-year-old deacon at Faith Tabernacle in Tupelo.
On Wednesday he teamed up with the Rev. Lamar Banks and his family from Mt. Union Baptist Church in Okolona to deliver a few hot meals to area homeless.
“You don’t have to go to Chicago to find people sleeping under bridges,” Banks said as he helped unload 20 steaming plates of fish and fixings at the Salvation Army lodge on Carnation Street.
The food had been donated by Captain D’s on North Gloster Street, and lodge resident James Connor seemed to take a great deal of pleasure in just smelling it.
Banks is the director for United Brothers and Sisters of Lee County, a non-profit that works in coordination with area churches to provide necessities like food, clothing and toiletries to those in need.
During its nine months of operation, the organization has helped hundreds of the destitute, mostly through word of mouth and personal referrals. The Salvation Army is one of its favorite beneficiaries.
“We need blankets, sheets, razors and deodorant,” said Banks, listing the items that men and women in the Salvation Army’s lodge always need.
Inside, lodge manager William Archie put the plates aside to be served at the 5 p.m. meal.
“We get people just out of jail, just out of the hospital, just come into town, and it’s great to have food on hand to feed them,” he said.

Contact Daily Journal religion editor Galen Holley at 678-1510 or galen.holley@djournal.com.

Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal