HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Each year the Feed the Needy Program delivers a Thanksgiving meal to more than 2,000 people in Harrison County. That's due to organizers and roughly 300 volunteers. This year marks a major milestone for the program, which is now in its 25th year. We caught up with an organizer to learn more about the program's purpose.
Gulfport Police Crime Prevention Specialist Mandy Keenan is taking orders for the upcoming Feed the Needy program on Thanksgiving morning. The program provides a free hot meal to the elderly, shut-ins and those in need on Thanksgiving Day.
"This is our silver anniversary and it just makes it even more and more special. All the more volunteers we have coming out from the time that it started until now," said Mandy Keenan who is the Gulfport Police Department's Crime Prevention Specialist.
With an average of 300 volunteers assisting each year in preparing the meals and delivering them to those in need in Harrison County, Keenan says this program isn't just about food.
"I have my regulars that I know are going to call every year. It's generally a lot of senior citizens that live alone and this is some of the only interaction that they get all year is from the actually Thanksgiving meal that they are delivered," said Keenan.
Organizers said about 2,500 meals are delivered on Thanksgiving Day as part of the program.
If you are interested in volunteering you must show up at the Lyman Community Center in Gulfport Thanksgiving morning at 8 a.m.
The deadline to request a meal is 5 p.m. this Friday.
Meals may be requested by calling one of the following:
- Biloxi Police Department (Ms. Ross) 385-3033
- D'Iberville Police Department 396-4252
- Gulfport Fire Department 868-5703
- Harrison County Sheriff's Office 896-0606
The Harrison County volunteers to Feed the Needy program is funded through donations only.
To make a donation call Dianne Shoemake at 896-0606 or mail to:
Harrison County Volunteers to Feed the Needy
10451 Larkin Smith Drive
Gulfport, MS 39503
Volunteers wanting to help package meals should report to Lyman Community Center at 13472 Highway 49 in Gulfport at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.
Volunteers wanting to deliver meals should arrive at the Lyman Community Center at 9 a.m.