Pascagoula soup kitchen struggles to feed the needy

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - A long line for a hot meal at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen is the norm now. People like Clarence McCalpine Gordon Schoon consider themselves regulars.

"If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be able to make it," McCalpine said about the soup kitchen.

"You come in here, and cool off, and get out of the heat, and eat you can a nice meal," Schoon said.

The men say since the downturn in the economy, they've been out of work and out of money.

"I have been homeless for a while, and I have been looking for a job," Schoon said.

"A lot of people are starving, for real," McCalpine said.

Our Daily Bread Director Edwin Quave is worried the food and donations are not rolling in fast enough to support the hungry. He said Our Daily Bread is now serving nearly 350 people a day. During the month of April, more than 7,200 were fed, but the sluggish economy is making it hard for to keep the kitchen shelves fully stocked.

"The last of last year we were serving like 5,000 or 4,000, and it has increased about 3,000. If we don't get the donations we need to operate, we will have to close," Quave said about the survival of Our Daily Bread.

Quave doesn't want to imagine that because so many depend on this soup kitchen. But, he said, the reality is his current budget is not enough to make ends meet.

"For an average month, I say about $25,000 to $30,000. And $3,000 to $4,000 worth of food that we cook a day," Quave said.

Quave hopes those who can, will open their hearts and wallets to help.

"The Lord will bless us if we bless others. If we sit here and keep our hand closed, he is not going to bless us."

If you would like to donate money, food, or volunteer your time, call Our Daily Bread at (228)769-7510.

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