Deadline to request meals for Feed the Needy is December 14th

With Christmas just 18 days away, Harrison County’s Feed the Needy program is gearing up for its last meal distribution of the holiday season.

Thirty-one years and still going strong, Harrison County’s annual holiday meal distribution program Feed the Needy has faced some unprecedented challenges trying to get food to those in need. However, even COVID-19 isn’t stopping the spirit of giving this holiday season. Biloxi Police Sgt. Joey Payne said, “Each one of our directors at each one of our agencies said no we’re having a program. Figure out a way.”

One thousand meals were already served at Thanksgiving and a 1,000 more will be served for Christmas. This year, every agency picks up their meals from the Harrison County Work Center where the food is prepared and will take the meals back to their own department to then be distributed to their respective communities.

Despite the changes, Officer Connie Hall with the Pass Christian Police Department still believes in the importance of the Feed the Needy program. “Customer service to the community is key. You have to take care of the people who take care of you.”

For Sgt. Joey Payne, it wouldn’t be the holiday season without Feed the Needy. The now president of the program has been helping feed his community since he was nine years old when Payne would help his dad out at the Gulfport Police Department when the program first began. “It just grew and I’ve always been a part of it. I enjoy doing this. This year when they asked for someone to become the new president, I volunteered.”

The deadline to request a Christmas meal is Monday, December 14th by 9 a.m. Those who are in need of a meal should contact their local public safety agency to get on the list. Officer Hall encourages those who need help not to hesitate to ask for it. “Because at first, they seem a little hesitant, but once you talk to them and realize it’s a relaxed conversation, then they sort of get more Christmas spirit going and more holiday spirit. And it’s nicer when you get to talk to them.”

To donate food, you can contact the Biloxi Police community relations department at 228-385-3033. Due to COVID-19, volunteering is limited. However, those who want to help with meal delivery are asked to contact their local police department.

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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