GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - For an hour before noon, they filed quietly into the building. Hundreds of hungry, homeless and hurting people prepared to receive a hot meal at Feed My Sheep.
The soup kitchen, located on 19th Street in Gulfport, is crowded almost every day. Manager Wayne Elias says most people don't realize the extent of the need that exists in their own backyards.
While this Tuesday noon hour meal was rather typical, the presence of TV cameras and still photographers suggested something special was up. The media was on hand to record a memorable milestone; one million meals served since the soup kitchen reopened in 2009.
The honor went to diner #146. That was a very surprised Ken Warner. He was even more excited when presented with a $300 Walmart gift card.
Warner has only recently found a place to live after living in the woods for a time.
"God bless Feed My Sheep," Warner said, as fellow diners and volunteers congratulated him with cheers and applause.
It will be back to normal at the soup kitchen tomorrow, serving hot meals and starting the count toward that second million.
Steve Phillips will tell you more about the milestone moment tonight on WLOX News and WLOX.com.