Soup Kitchen Needs Food To Stay Open - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

08/23/05

Soup Kitchen Needs Food To Stay Open

It's lunchtime at the Lord is My Help food pantry. 80 to 100 hungry people line the tables, and warm food fills their plates. Boxed lunches go out to another 200 each day.

Manager Barbara Ruddiman says it's all about making sure no one in Jackson County goes hungry.

"Most of the people we help are working poor. They make minimum wage. They're doing the best they can but they cannot get enough money for basic expenses," Ruddiman says.

The soup kitchen depends on donations to be able to provide hot, balanced meals to hundreds of people every day.

"If we don't get donations, be it money or food, then we would be out of business," Ruddiman says.

It takes $10,000 in donations to fill these shelves every month.

"This is a sample of telling you how low we are on proteins," Ruddiman, "Tuna, spam, peanut butter, any meat product in a can. We really need help with that. You can imagine how quick this goes."

Ruddiman says emptying shelves is a problem the kitchen faces during the summer.

See most people donate to the food pantry during the holidays and forget about it when the weather gets warmer.

During the summer, the supplies go down, but Ruddiman says, the demand goes up.

"We always have more needs because kids are out of school at that time too. There's a lot more people to feed in the summer," Ruddiman says.

She says if there's no food to serve, the pantry will close and many people will go hungry.

"I bet there'd be a lot of hungry people, especially in west Jackson County here," Ruddiman says.

If you'd like to help, donations can be dropped off at The Lord is My Help pantry at 1205 Desoto Street in Ocean Springs, or call (228) 872-2331 for more information.

By Jaimee Goad

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