GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Before the serving line opens up, seats are already filled with people looking for a hot meal. It's what kitchen workers at Feed My Sheep in Gulfport prep for each weekday during the daily noon meal.
Kitchen Supervisor Mike Jones says he's seeing the numbers continue to rise among one group in particular.
"Getting more families in now. Use to be like three or four and now you'll be like...hey that's a new family there," Jones says.
The soup kitchen keeps the pantry stocked with food year round. But, these days, Jones says Feed My Sheep finds itself satisfying much more than people's need for a hot meal.
Jones say with, "Winter time coming up and a lot of people are needing clothes and shoes, especially if they got little kids. They're coming to the right spot...cause we got that too. We got food and clothes."
With more families coming in, those who give are stepping up their donations to meet the expanding needs.
"Baby food and stuff like that...pampers...diapers...people are giving all that. They know people got a lot of young ones and don't have the money to get that stuff," Jones says.
Supervisors with the soup kitchen say they're constantly working to meet people's needs in anyway they can. But, if all else fails, you can always count on them if you're hungry and in need of something hot to eat.
Saturday night kicked off a new fundraiser for Feed My Sheep. It held its first Gobblepalooza concert in downtown Gulfport to raise money for its services, including its homebound program which has grown, supervisors say, by more than 100 people since last year.
Feed My Sheep is right off of 19th Street in Gulfport. Its doors, workers say, are always open to volunteers, donations and fundraising ideas.