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Where to get free Thanksgiving meals in South Mississippi, and how to help others

Man honors his grandmother’s legacy by helping others

DeMar Hardnett wanted to honor his grandmother’s legacy after she died in August, 2017 of cancer. He is starting by providing a few free meals on Thanksgiving.
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DeMar Hardnett wanted to honor his grandmother’s legacy after she died in August, 2017 of cancer. He is starting by providing a few free meals on Thanksgiving.

Even the groups that offer free Thanksgiving meals could use some help, with volunteers and donations. Here are some events coming up and ways you can help.

Free Thanksgiving meals

▪  Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen, 2615 19th Street, Gulfport, will serve Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless and needy from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21. Feed My Sheep will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22 and 23.

▪  The 33rd annual Free Thanksgiving Dinner at the American Legion Hall, 701 Green Meadow Road, Bay St. Louis, will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22, and is open to all communities. The menu includes turkey and all the trimmings. Takeout dinners are also available. Deliveries will also be made to the homebound in Bay St. Louis, Waveland and Hancock County. To sign up for delivery, call 228-223-7349 or email nkellygirl@yahoo.com, and include your name, address, phone number and number of meals needed. Homebound reservations were due by Monday, Nov. 19. Volunteers are also welcome.

▪  The Gulf Coast Public Safety Feed the Needy Program is in its 29th year, and provides about 4,600 meals per year to those in need during the holiday times, for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Feed the Needy Program is funded by donations only. In addition, it relies on hundreds of volunteers who donate their time to the program each year.

The deadline was Friday, Nov. 16, to order a Thanksgiving meal for any needy person, by contacting 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 St., 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.

Hundreds gather at the Lyman Community Center on Thanksgiving, November 26, 2015, to help prepare meals for those in need. Parents use the event as a way to show their children how fortunate they are to have what they have.

▪ The Gulf Coast Rescue Mission will serve its annual Thanksgiving meal from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22, at the mission, 2750 Mission Lane, off DeBuys Road, in Biloxi. Takeout meals are available. Volunteers are welcomed and appreciated. Details: 228-388-3884 or 228-280-8375.

▪  Loaves and Fishes, 610 Water St., Biloxi, will open Thursday, Nov. 22, to feed those in need of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Volunteers welcomed to help cook, starting at 7 a.m., and serve and clean up, starting at 10 a.m. Donations of turkey, potatoes, dressing and cash donations are encouraged. Otherwise, baked green bean casseroles and desserts can be delivered to DeMiller Hall on Wednesday or Thursday morning. Details: 228-380-1316, or bbt0918@gmail.com. Presented by the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Biloxi, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Gulfport and others from the Coast Convocation.

Help the Salvation Army

As many staff have been deployed to help with hurricane relief, The Salvation Army needs volunteers for Thanksgiving food and more.

Volunteers are being sought to ring bells starting Nov. 16 and ending on Christmas Eve. To coordinate your bell ringing experience, call Zach Rhodes at 228-207-2303.

The Salvation Army again asks for food to fill the emergency food pantry. After last year receiving an abundant amount of turkeys with the fixings, the agency was able to send holiday food boxes home for needy families. Suggested donations: turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, mac “n” cheese, etc.

Donations accepted at 2019 22nd St. Gulfport, 575 Division St. Biloxi and at 3217 Nathan Hale Ave., Pascagoula.

The Salvation Army pantry in Gulfport, Miss., is running out of food. They hoped people would help by filling barrels at Wal Mart. Thanksgiving and Christmas bring extra awareness, donations of food for needy.

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