GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s a South Mississippi Thanksgiving tradition that dates back to 1989. And while COVID-19 might have slowed down this year’s Feed the Needy event, the pandemic couldn’t take away the drive to provide delicious, hot, holiday meals for those in need all over the Gulf Coast.
Usually, there are hundreds of volunteers inside the Lyman Civic Center to prepare and deliver meals to those in need. This year, it’s a little bit different as the meals were prepared at the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office Work Center.
“We did cut back on the meals this year, but we are getting them out to the people who need it. That way they can enjoy this Thanksgiving and have a hot meal,” said Sgt. Michael Knapp with the D’Iberville Police Department. “This year all the meals are prepared and boxed up and put in our trailers. We take them to our respective police departments and we drop them off at locations to give to the people that need the meals.”
The numbers are different, too. Usually Feed the Needy feeds about 4,000 people. Due to the pandemic, that’s cut in half this year, they’ll do about 1,000 at Thanksgiving and 1,000 at Christmas.
The inmates and the trustees at the work center are putting the meals together before they’re delivered.
“It feels good to help the ones that need it, and I know there’s a lot out there who need it. It’ll be amazing. I’ll sleep good tonight,” said Charles Burhorn.