Harrison County

How you can help bring Thanksgiving to Coastians in need

Volunteers fill food boxes for Harrison County’s less fortunate during the Feed the Needy program at the Lyman Community Center on Thanksgiving Day in 2013.
Volunteers fill food boxes for Harrison County’s less fortunate during the Feed the Needy program at the Lyman Community Center on Thanksgiving Day in 2013. SUN HERALD

Thankful hearts and helping hands are sought to help provide a Thanksgiving meal for Harrison County’s less fortunate.

The Gulf Coast Public Safety Feed the Needy program is seeking donations to cover costs. The holiday meal program, in its 27th year, is funded solely by donations.

About 300 volunteers helped provide some 1,800 Thanksgiving meals last year, and about 250 volunteers helped provide about 1,500 Christmas meals. That’s about 3,300 holiday meals last year.

The program, previously known as Harrison County Volunteers to Feed the Needy, is a joint effort of volunteers and public safety agencies throughout the county.

Agencies collect names and addresses of the needy, including shut-ins. Some volunteers cook or keep food trays filled at a long assembly-line area. Some dish out food while others, holding “to go” boxes, walk by and hold out their boxes for turkey and the trimmings. Some pack delivery boxes. Others deliver the meals and spread holiday cheer.

I realized I could reach out and hold the plate and roll myself to the next food item.

Volunteer Zenita Day, who was wheelchair-bound last Thanksgiving

Lt. Mike Shaw of the Gulfport Police Department is accepting donations by phone and mail.

The county’s five police departments, the Gulfport Fire Department and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office are collecting names and addresses of those who need meals.

Meals can be delivered or picked up at the Lyman Community Center.

People who want to volunteer should report to the Lyman Community Center at 8 a.m. Nov. 24. Deliveries start at 9 a.m.

Organizers and volunteers last year said they were overwhelmed by the spirit of giving and volunteering.

One volunteer, Zenita Day, was wheelchair-bound after a stroke and a fall, yet helped fill plates.

“I realized I could reach out and hold the plate and roll myself to the next food item,” Day told the Sun Herald.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

Feed the Needy signups

Phone numbers to submit names/addresses on list for meals:

Biloxi Police Department: 228-385-3033

D’Iberville Police Department: 228-396-4252

Gulfport Fire Department: 228-868-5950

Gulfport Police Department: 228-868-5703

Harrison County Sheriff’s Office: 228-896-0606

Long Beach Police Department: 228-865-1981

Pass Christian Police: 228-452-3302

To make a donation:

Call 228-868-5703

Mail check to Gulf Coast Feed The Needy, Attn. Lt. Mike Shaw, 2220 15th Street, Gulfport, MS 39501

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