BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Fourth Annual Easter meal was held at the Gulf Coast Rescue Mission in Biloxi Saturday afternoon. Around 200 people received plates of food. As Christina Garcia found out, for organizers, Easter is a time for faith, food and fellowship.
After months of collecting donations and several days of cooking there was an abundant amount of food ready and packed for anyone in the community. Sean Smith is the Assistant Director of the Gulf Coast Rescue Mission. He says Easter goes beyond just attending church.
"For years we've held a Christmas and Thanksgiving meal and we decided, the director decided, one day let's hold an Easter meal on Easter Sunday, have people come out and share a good traditional Easter meal the day before Easter," said Smith.
Smith says the event wasn't just for the homeless. It was open to anyone in need.
"One, it gives a good, hot meal to those in the community to those, who don't have anything or are unable to get a traditional Easter meal. Or maybe for people who aren't able to go to the store and get the fixings that they need," Smith said.
He also says the Easter meal gives those who like to volunteer an chance to make a serious impact for those who need it most.
"They're just very appreciative that there's a place they can go to on a holiday and get a nice, warm, hot cooked meal and some good fellowship," said Bryan Breland.
Seeing that fellowship is what volunteers say makes their efforts valuable.
"Allot of them don't have family. Allot of them have just been thrown into exile from their family. Allot of their family has passed away. And some just don't have anybody to spend the holidays with so they know they can come here and have people to talk to," Breland said.
Roughly 300 plates were given away during the event. The Gulf Coast Rescue Mission offers shelter for men and women. The organization will build a two-story women's shelter as soon as the funding becomes available. To learn more about the non-profit you can find them on Facebook by typing Gulf Coast Rescue Mission.