GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The smell of baked turkey and pumpkin pie fills the kitchen and dining area at the Harrison County Sheriff's Department Work Center on Lorraine Road. Staff and inmates are helping prepare more than 2,200 meals which will be served up on Christmas Day.
In the kitchen, one worker wrapped giant trays of dressing and casseroles in plastic. Nearby, work center inmates were busy cutting dozens of pies into eight slices each. Captain Earnest Thomas says it "feels great" to be a part of such an effort. It's been an annual tradition for more than 20 years that the sheriff's department organize holiday meals for those in need on both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
On Christmas Day, all the feeding activity will transfer to the Lyman Community Center. That's where the hundreds and hundreds of meals will be packed an delivered to those in need.
Area police agencies also pitch-in to help with the massive effort, along with countless volunteers each holiday season.