A Thanksgiving Tradition: Giving a Turkey Meal to Those in Need

For most families on the Coast, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and spend the day with loved ones while having the pleasure of eating all kinds of delicious holilday foods, particularly lots of turkey and dressing. For others, Thanksgiving is just another day spent wondering if they will be lucky enough to have a hot meal at all. The area homeless population is rising and the number of families that cannot afford a turkey and all the trimmings for Thanksgiving dinner is shocking. It could very well even be people you know… your friends, relatives or neighbors that are struggling. Perhaps hard times are also affecting you and your family. 
With the cost of living in today’s hard economic times, there is no shame in visiting a food pantry or other place of assistance when it comes to seeing that your family gets the food they need. Sadly, it is a sign of the times. Churches, community service organizations, soup kitchens and private individuals are trying to help as many people as they can on a daily basis. “It is a daunting task but we love it,” said Loaves and Fishes Director, Betsey Murin. “I want to thank the community for their remarkable generosity especially at the holidays. This community on the Coast knows and understands how life can change in a flash. We serve 6000 people a month and have even been lucky enough to start a program called Martha’s Meals. Food can be picked up to take to anyone in need. Whether it’s a situation where a neighbor can’t leave their home or someone has just gotten out of the hospital and is too ill to feed themselves. It’s as much about seeing a friendly face bring your meal as it is about the food.”
Thanksgiving food is needed at Loaves and Fishes and this year they are accepting whole, uncut, homemade pies as well as uncooked turkeys, nonperishable foods and plastic serving supplies. If your family finds that you can contribute to this year’s efforts to feed those in need, please call Loaves and Fishes or any other charitable organization close to your heart. Volunteers are needed all along the Coast to make Thanksgiving 2011 a blessed event for everyone.
Here is a list of area churches that are planning something special for the Thanksgiving holiday:

Temple Baptist	228-832-3209
Cedar Lake United Methodist	228-392-9585
Heritage United Methodist	228-392-4288
Amazing Grace Ministries	228-432-7050
1st United Methodist Gufport	228-354-9136
Beauvoir United Methodist	228-388-1478
Lakeshore Baptist	228-469-0110
1st Presbyterian Pascagoula	228-762-2824

Other coastal service agencies:
Loaves and Fishes	228-436-6172
Twelve Baskets	228-868-2823
Crusaders for Christ	228-432-0482
Feed My Sheep	228-864-2701
Gulfport RSVP program	601-897-2020
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