Christmas for some Coast veterans may be a bit merrier this year, thanks to some local volunteers.
The Biloxi Wal-Mart on Wednesday partnered with Operation Homefront to provide about 200 holiday meal kits for veterans and their families. The kits were distributed at VFW Post 2434 on Veterans Boulevard in Biloxi.
Switzer Road Wal-Mart manager Anthony Chisesi said the kits contain everything needed for a complete meal.
"Wal-Mart provided the non-perishables and Operation Homefront is providing a gift card for the purchase of a turkey or ham," he said. They have stuffing, mashed potatoes mix, chicken broth, pumpkin pie filling and crusts -- basically your entire meal."
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This is the first year for the program in the state, But Chisesi said it's been quite successful nationwide.
"Wal-Mart and Operation Homefront are hoping to distribute meals for about 34,000 people this holiday season," he said.
Chisesi said although he's not a veteran, he was honored to have been a part of the food distribution.
"This is the biggest honor I've experienced in my 20 years with Wal-Mart," he said.
Joe Graham American Legion Post 119 in Orange Grove is also offering holiday assistance for some veterans.
It is collecting non-perishable food items and clothes for veterans that are homeless.
"We are accepting food and clothes donations," post commander Terry Applebee said. "We are going to fill five-gallon buckets with these items and distribute them to our homeless veterans."
Applebee said the buckets will also contain jackets and gloves.
"We're putting them in buckets so the recipients can carry the items with them," he said.
The American Legion will be seeking assistance in distributing the gifts from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Biloxi.
"We know of the homeless veterans in our area," Applebee said. "But the VA has a better understanding of who is homeless and they will make sure the right people get the buckets."
Applebee said donations will be accepted until Dec. 20. For more information on how or what to donate, call (228)206-3201.