Gulfport soup kitchen close to re-opening

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Construction of a new soup kitchen in Gulfport is winding down, but the campaign to stock the kitchen is just beginning.

Feed My Sheep's new home will be a 6,500 square-foot building. Three years ago, Hurricane Katrina destroyed the community center that had housed the soup kitchen. Even with so many accomplishments, the non-profit has a lot of work ahead to be ready to serve Christmas dinner.

For father and son, Joe and Michael Trierweiler, this is more than a construction job. They say it's a chance to help their hometown bring back something important.

"I think it would be great for the city," said Joe Trierweiler. "A lot of people are hungry, and once word gets out, they'll be here to eat. I know that. "

After years of struggling, Feed My Sheep president Joe Steinwinder says the soup kitchen is better than it was before Katrina.

"The new kitchen is a dream. It has so many features to it. Where we were serving 600 and 700, we'll be able to do a thousand with no problem at all. The equipment is just absolutely fantastic," Steinwinder said.

While the contractor says his crews should have the building move in ready in a few weeks, Steinwinder says it will take longer to get Feed My Sheep up and running.

"We lost over $100,000 in supplies during the hurricane. So we've had to start from scratch and it hasn't been easy. It's been an uphill thing," said Steinwinder.

Steinwinder says through the years, many hands have reached out to Feed My Sheep, and he believes they will come through again. Feed My Sheep's new building also has space devoted to its Meals On Wheels program.

If you would like to contribute to the campaign to restock the kitchen, you can mail your donations to the following address:

Feed My Sheep Restocking Campaign
P.O. Box 6883
Gulfport, MS 39506