Soup kitchen says elderly call begging for food since meal deliv - - The News for South Mississippi

Soup kitchen says elderly call begging for food since meal delivery program ended

Officials say answering the phones is heartbreaking. (Photo source: WLOX News) Officials say answering the phones is heartbreaking. (Photo source: WLOX News)

It's been more than a year since financial strain forced Our Daily Bread to stop its meal delivery program to nearly 500 hundred people.

Officials say they are still getting calls every day from senior citizens begging for someone to bring them food.  

Seven days a week, volunteers cook hot meals for people starved for food and in need of compassion. 

"They are thankful for this place," said volunteer Alvin Black. "They walk by at lunch and say we're so glad you're here. We're so glad you have food for us." 

But it's the elderly and disabled who can't make their way to Our Daily Bread that worry the Pascagoula soup kitchen. The meal deliveries to the shut-ins ended more than a year ago, but the requests never stopped coming.

"We were forced to stop our meal delivery program here in Jackson County to 478 recipients," said Executive Director Mary Meldren. "That program is in dire need to get started back up again. We still get phone calls from elderly people begging if we could just bring them a plate only and they only live just so far away. It's sad."

While Our Daily Bread would love to be delivering plates again, officials say the money just isn't there. 

"What we would like to do is revamp our delivery service. That right there is our number one goal right now. To feed God's people and give back to Him that what He's given to us," said Meldren. "We would have to have enough money to pay for the payroll for the drivers, the insurance for the vans, maintenance. It was costing us about $28,000 a month, and that right there is pretty chunk of change." 

Until their prayers are answered, officials say it will be heartbreaking answering the telephone. 

"When you have to tell them no, it's what you hear in their voices when they hear the word no. They're just hungry. They just want something to eat," Meldren said. "You hear an 89-year-old. Then they'll forget that they've already called. They'll call you again in a couple of hours. And they'll be begging you, 'Please. Please can you just bring me a plate.'" 

Our Daily Bread is asking for donations like ham, eggs, butter, sugar; as well as cleaning supplies so volunteers can prepare a very special Thanksgiving holiday meal. For more information, call 228-769-7510.

"It's Thanskgiving. We want to be able to give these people, especially the seniors that come in," Meldren said. "We want to give them a plate to take home that's got the nourishing love in it from this soup kitchen."

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