Soup Kitchens Need Ongoing Support

Donations around Thanksgiving and Christmas usually fill the pantries of coast soup kitchens. But the need for meals and groceries exists year round.

Those responsible for feeding the hungry face the ongoing challenge of juggling resources to meet the need.

"The Lord Is My Help" served nearly three thousand meals last month. But the weekday lunches aren't the only food given out by the Ocean Springs soup kitchen.

The pantry also prepares "take out bags" of canned goods for families needing groceries. Seventy-two families received assistance last month alone.

"We've had some people who are out of work and transients and everything. It's just they've took us down. Over 200 and some families within three months for canned goods and stuff. And it's just run our pantry down to little or nothing," manager Rennea May said.

Those who run the soup kitchen appreciate any donations. Supporters are also encouraged to visit.

"And see what goes on here. What we do here. And the amount of people that we help. The amount of people that we feed," May said.

"Loaves and Fishes" soup kitchen in Biloxi benefits from an ongoing business partnership. Several years ago, Casino Magic agreed to provide the food for the meals each Monday.

Jean Evans serves up hot meals with her trademark smile. She's been volunteering the past few years and understands the ongoing need for donations.

"I don't think we could ever get enough really. We could not get enough support. Because every little bit we've got a hole to put it in. You understand. So we need all the help we can get," Evans said.

Loaves and Fishes pantry is fairly full right now.  But the leanest months are still to come.

"I'm wanting to do something in partnership with some other agencies in the summer where things are really lean. It's kind of like the desert around here. Nobody's remembering us. They're remembering ongoing vacations and things like that," manager Rita Baldwin said.

Those who feed the hungry say the need remains constant. They're counting on steady donations to help meet it.

If you'd like to drop off donations, "The Lord Is My Help" soup kitchen is located on Desoto Street in downtown Ocean Springs.  "Loaves and Fishes" is on Main Street in Biloxi.