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Where to get a meal for the holidays in South Mississippi. And other ways you can help.

Hundreds of volunteers gather at the Lyman Community Center in Gulfport to assemble meals for Thanksgiving in 2016. The Gulf Coast Public Safety Feed the Needy program is in its 28th year.
Hundreds of volunteers gather at the Lyman Community Center in Gulfport to assemble meals for Thanksgiving in 2016. The Gulf Coast Public Safety Feed the Needy program is in its 28th year. amccoy@sunherald.com File

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Empty Bowls fundraiser

The second annual Empty Bowls fundrasier will be 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center, 1600 Government St., in Ocean Springs. The event raises money for the Open Doors Homeless Coalition, which provides supportive services to agencies that directly work with the homeless. National Homeless and Hunger Awareness week is Nov. 11-19.

The event features more than 300 beautifully handcrafted, one-of-a-kind soup sized pottery bowls made by Coast potters. For the ticket price of $30, attendees choose a bowl to keep and enjoy a variety of soups, breads and desserts, and jambalaya. In addition to a silent auction, entertainment will be provided. The event is casual and open to all ages.

Details: www.opendoorshc.org or call Jennifer Sutton at 228-239-9790 or Patti Guider at 228-424-3947. Sponsorships are available, by calling Jennifer Benvenutti at 228-332-1211.

Thanksgiving in the Woods

The event, hosted by Shepherd of the Gulf, will provide traditional Thanksgiving meals to homeless camps on Nov. 18. Donations of hot foods, blankets and other items to help the homeless are requested. At 10:30 a.m., the organizers and volunteers will meet behind the Humane Society in Gulfport.

To provide a cooked dish or to volunteer, call Lynda Favre at 228-229-8980 or Kimberly Baker at 228-343-4945. To make a monetary donation, go to any Hancock Bank and ask to deposit to the Shepherd of the Gulf Inc. nonprofit account, or go to www.shepherdofthegulf.org and make a donation using Paypal.

Feed the Needy meals

The Gulf Coast Public Safety Feed the Needy Program will deliver hot meals on Thanksgiving Day. The program, now in its 28th year, is a collaboration between public safety agencies, donors and volunteers. This program has grown to providing about 4,600 meals per year to those in need during the holiday times. The Feed the Needy Program is funded by donations only. Hundreds of volunteers help package and deliver meals each year. The program also provides meals for Christmas.

To order a meal for any needy person, contact one of the sponsoring agencies: Biloxi Police Department 228-385-3033, D’Iberville Police Department 228-396-4252, Gulfport Police Department 228-868-5703, Gulfport Fire Department 228-868-5950, Harrison County Sheriff’s Department 228-896-0606, Long Beach Police Department 228-865-1981, and Pass Christian Police Department 228-452-3302.

To make a donation, call Lt. Mike Shaw, Gulfport Police Department, 228-868-5703. Donations also can be mailed to Gulf Coast Law Enforcement Feed the Needy, Attn: Lt Mike Shaw, 2220 15th Street, Gulfport, MS 39501.

Volunteers wishing to help package and deliver meals should report to Lyman Community Center, 13472 U.S. 49, Gulfport, at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Deliveries will begin at 9 a.m.

Thanksgiving meals

The 32nd annual Free Thanksgiving Dinner will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 23 at American Legion Hall, 645 Green Meadow Road.

The sit down, restaurant-style dinner is open to all communities. Dinner includes turkey and all the trimmings, and door prizes. Take-out dinners are available.

Deliveries are available to the homebound in Bay St. Louis, Waveland and Hancock County. Homebound in these areas should call by Nov. 21 to reserve meals at 228-323-3695 or e-mail graterthanus@gmail.com. Please include complete name, address, phone number and the number of meals.

Volunteers can call Julie at 228-297-2099.

Holiday meals

Diann Johnson Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization intended to help feed families for Thanksgiving and to give them the perfect Christmas. The foundation is in honor of Johnson, a grandmother who recently died of cancer. “She stood for bringing the family together especially over a hot meal,” a family member said in announcing the effort. “To help society realize that if we come together and look out for one another there will be hope for our community. ... Our grandma raised seven grandchildren and she made sure we had a hot meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Her door was open for anyone who wanted a hot meal in her community. Now that she has passed we want to provide the same love that she had for her grandchildren to other people.”

Free meals will be provided Nov. 23 and Dec. 25, from 10 a.m. until, at B21 Outfitters, 288 Eisenhower Drive, Biloxi. All donations are welcomed and can be dropped off at B21 Outfitters. Details: 228-233-4062 or 228-207-4615.

Help a family

Through the University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work, River Rock Yoga is accepting donations to support a family in need for Thanksgiving.

Food and clothes are being collected for a single mother and her 4-year-old son. The mother wears a size 7 shoe, size 7 pants and a medium top. She needs winter boots or shoes and winter clothes. Her son wears a size 10 shoe, and 5T pants and tops. He is in need of winter clothes. Donations of toy cars, trucks and construction toys also will be accepted.

Please bring donations to River Rock Yoga in Ocean Springs by Nov. 21.

Senior Citizen luncheon

New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church Senior Citizen Ministry along with Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will hosted its annual Thanksgiving luncheon at noon Nov. 16 at the church, 255 Main St., Biloxi.

Wreath fluffing event

Crusaders for Veterans and Keesler Base Exchange are hosting a wreath fluffing event beginning at 2 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Keesler BX. These wreaths will be placed upon graves at the Biloxi National Cemetery, 400 Veterans Ave., at 11 a.m. Dec. 2. Details: crusadersforveterans.com or call Jessica Foster at 228-435-2524.

Volunteers also are being sought to help beginning at 9 a.m. Dec. 1 at the cemetery to place 10,000 bows on the graves and prepare the wreaths for the Dec. 2 ceremony. (Wreath pickup will begin at 8 a.m. Jan. 6.)

Be a Santa to a Senior

Home Instead Senior Care invites the community to help provide gifts to area seniors through its Be a Santa to a Senior program. Now in its 13th year, the program serves more than 1,800 seniors.

Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be on display through Dec. 4. The trees are decorated with paper ornaments featuring seniors’ first names and their desired gifts. Holiday shoppers can choose an ornament, buy the requested gift and return it to the store with the ornament attached. Volunteers and program partners will wrap and deliver the gifts.

The trees are at these CVS Pharmacy locations: 2109 Bienville Blvd., Ocean Springs; 1422 E. Pass Road, Gulfport; 11022 U.S. 49, Gulfport; 3657 Market St., Pascagoula; and 12024 Lamey Bridge Road, D’Iberville.

Details: BeaSantatoaSenior.com or 228-818-6110.

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