BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Hancock County's only five day a week soup kitchen celebrated a major milestone Wednesday. King's Kitchen, as it's called, turned two years old.
Central Bible Church on Highway 90 in Bay St. Louis recognized there was a need for such a facility in the community. Two years later, the need is greater than ever.
It's lunch time at King's Kitchen, and on a special second anniversary menu, there's baked chicken, a green salad and green beans.
"I've always heard that the Lord will provide. It gives me one hot meal for the day. Keeps me going," said Darrell Zeller.
He says he has relied on King's Kitchen practically since the doors first opened. He's homeless and says he fell on hard times after he lost his job at a local casino.
"I'm actually living in my truck right now," said Zeller.
He said without the help of King's Kitchen, he doesn't know what he would do to fill his stomach.
"It means a lot to me. It does. It means a lot to a whole bunch of people around here," explained Zeller.
The soup kitchen is the brain child of the Rev. Mike Ramsey and church member Jenna Weiss. The two say they recognized the need, prayed about it and the doors began to open.
"It's been estimated that we've served, since we've been open, over 10,000 different meals. We serve anywhere from 50 to 70 meals a day on an average day," according to Ramsey.
The need for the free service appears to grow every day.
"Since last November, we've had 574 new people who have come to eat for the very first time," said Ramsey.
Weiss and Ramsey say it couldn't happen without the help of food donors in the community and church members who volunteer their time to cook and serve the meals.
"There are certain volunteers that come five days a week, day-in and day-out, and they're the real heroes of this place," said Weiss.
King's Kitchen is a place providing food for the soul and words of encouragement for the spirit.
Anyone who can help with food or cash donations is asked to contact Ramsey at 228-493-4796.