PASCASGOULA, MS (WLOX) – Our Daily Bread soup kitchen is counting on more donations from the community to feed the needy this holiday season. Workers said they are feeding about 350 people daily and expect the number to increase. They also said the economy is making it hard to provide hot meals.
It's lunch time at Our Daily Bread in Pascagoula, and the soup kitchen is crowded. Volunteer Terry Delcuze said it's surprising how many people come in to get a hot meal.
"We fed over 75,000 meals this year alone," Delcuze said.
That's 10,000 more than last year. Director Edwin Quave said a lot of people are depending on the free food because they have seen a huge drop in their finances or lost their job.
"Many people are out of work, and then there a lot of people that are laid off and different things like that. We have people that are in the woods," Director Edwin Quave said.
Both Quave and Delcuze said it has been a struggle to fill that increased need. They said giving has been rather slow in the community at times.
"This year we usually get a sizable amount of money from United Way, which comes from the Emergency Food and Shelter program," Delcuze said. "This year, so far, it has not even been funded."
"We wouldn't be able to help people if they don't give," Quave said.
The volunteers said thanks to some last minute donations, they have enough food to provide a good Thanksgiving meal for the needy. They want to see that same support every month.
"Even a dollar will help us feed the people that we feed because if we go out of business in Jackson County, a lot of people will go hungry," Delcuze said.
Groups like Seashore Mission said letting the kitchen shut down is not an option. Director Andy Collette donated 200 bags of food.
"We can be compassionate human beings, who are Americans, who care about ourselves and the people that live in our own neighborhoods," Collette said.
If you want to make a donation to Our Daily Bread, call (228) 769-7510.