BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Soup kitchens across the Coast continue to struggle with resources to help feed those in need. Loaves & Fishes in Biloxi is now down to extremely limited supplies. The executive director is hoping to change that with a unique fundraiser.
It's the colder months that bring more traffic into the Loaves & Fishes Community Kitchen. The volunteers and employees here serve two meals a day, six days a week.
Executive Director Joe Gautier said his organization serves about 6,000 meals a month. Now, his supply has dwindled dangerously low.
"We're really looking for help to continue these services. If we can't continue these services, people are going to go hungry," said Gautier.
He says if no more help is provided, he will have to close his doors in a month, but he has a plan to change that.
"We have had a Saints commemorative football signed by the 2009 Super Bowl champs given to us," said Gautier.
He's raffling the football off at $25 a ticket. That money is something he says will help with his increasing demand.
"What I can tell is there's more people coming in to eat today than there was yesterday. More yesterday than there was the day before that," said Gautier.
His kitchen counts on help from the community to continue operating. He often sees volunteers helping fill the plates, like Sheila Angerer and Renee Thompson.
"Without the volunteers, it wouldn't be here, and then what would happen to these people," said Angerer.
Thompson and Angerer have come all the way from Texas just to spend time helping out. They do this annually and want to see more people giving back.
"Whoever is out there, if you woke up this morning with a roof over your head and you slept in your own bed, oops, are those your shoes? Yes, you need to come and give," said Thompson.
Gautier is hoping that the raffle will be a good way to get the community involved.
"That is a donation to us to help feed these people, and kind of as a little lagniappe, you get the chance to win the football," said Gautier.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at the following locations: Peoples Bank Biloxi branches, Bancorp South on Pass Road and in Ocean Springs, Trustmark on Cedar Lake, Community Bank, Loaves & Fishes and the Hook-Up Restaurant in Biloxi.
The winning ticket will be drawn at the Hook-Up on Dec. 15, during halftime of the Saints verses Bears game.