Beau Rivage 'food fight' helps re-stock South MS pantries

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Beau Rivage employees got involved in quite a food fight the past three weeks, but it's not what you might imagine.

Employees of the Biloxi resort held a food-collecting competition with workers at the company's sister properties in Tunica and Detroit. And in the end, area food banks and soup kitchens were the real winners.

Wednesday, Beau Rivage employees helped load pallets of donated food, destined for area soup kitchens and feeding programs. In just three weeks, workers responded to the competitive challenge by collecting some four tons of food and nearly $10,000 in donations.

"This food will help serve a lot of people," said Brad Lees with Gulf Coast Rescue Mission. "A lot of families are in need of food and stuff like that, with the recession going on and people out of work."

This "food fight" was organized at an opportune time, when food supplies at area pantries begin to dwindle a few months after the holidays.

"Oh, it means a lot to us. This is a blessing," said Wayne Elias, who offered thanks on behalf of Feed My Sheep.

"Oh, it's a great need for Feed My Sheep. We serve about 700 people a day, Monday through Friday. And we go off donations," he explained.

"I was very proud of our employees. We asked and they just stepped up to the plate and did as much as they could in that short period of time. It was very exciting. We asked and food just kept coming and coming. Our warehouse was filled with pallets and pallets of food," said Allison Smith Mitchell with Beau Rivage.

Food headed for Pentecostals of the Gulf Coast will give families in need a welcome lift.  That church program supplies groceries to needy households.

"People that you know from the community that you would never think would need food or be hungry or wouldn't be able to provide food for their family," said Nathan Barrett.

Some charities picked-up the donations at the casino loading dock.  Beau Rivage workers delivered the gifts to several others.

Groups receiving the food donations include Feed My Sheep, Loaves and Fishes, The Lord is My Help, Gulf Coast Rescue Mission and Pentecostals of the Gulf Coast.

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