AMORY – In 2011, Joe Lee Gunn of St. James United Methodist Church came up with the idea for the senior adults, ages 70 and older, in the church to have a weekly soup kitchen.

“I thought a soup kitchen would be a wonderful opportunity for the senior citizens to prepare, serve and fellowship with each other. It helps us get to know each other better and set an example for the younger members,” Gunn said.

Gunn said they invite the community in and feed them physical and spiritual food.

“We prepare a meal for those who may not have received a meal that day because of health reasons or some other reason,” said Mary Helen Bailey, one of the senior adults involved in the ministry.

Each week, one person prepares the meal at their home, then brings it to the church, where carryout boxes are fixed and delivered to the homebound. There are approximately 15 meals delivered each week to homebound people. The food is then set up in the church fellowship hall for the senior citizens and community members to enjoy.

The church’s congregation donates some money to the ministry, but each person preparing the meal adds enough to make the meal more nutritious.

“We have had some food donated by the food pantry, if they have a surplus, and it was greatly appreciated,” said Bailey.

Attendance varies from week to week, but averages anywhere from 30 to 50 people.

The meal is held every Wednesday at noon at St. James UMC, which is located on Martin Luther King Drive. The church's pastor is David McCoy.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to St. James’ soup kitchen can do so by contacting Bro. McCoy at (662) 617-0581.

“We welcome anyone in the community to come and have fellowship and a meal with us,” said McCoy. “If anyone needs a meal, please give me a call and we will add them to our deliveries to the homebound.”

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