More than 120 people including volunteers and guests of the King's Kitchen on Tuesday celebrated the soup kitchen's 7th anniversary.
The kitchen is a non-profit outreach of Central Bible Church.
Since the King's Kitchen opened its doors in 2012, volunteers have served more than 218,400 meals to people in need, Central Bible Church pastor Mike Ramsey said.
The kitchen serves about 100 people a day, he added. About seven to 10 people volunteer daily to serve Monday through Saturday, Ramsey said.
"We appreciate the fact that we have the opportunity to minister to you all," Ramsey said. "Thank you for continuing to come every day Monday through Saturday, day in and day out, holidays included. We appreciate the fact that we have the opportunity to serve you. We really do love serving you and we thank you, you are the reason that we are here."
Ramsey also handed out a stack of certificates to organizations and individuals that provide assistance to the kitchen on a daily basis.
Silver Slipper Casino sous chef Martin Navarro and his team prepared Tuesday's meal, as they do every Tuesday, Ramsey said.
King's Kitchen serves meals six days a week in a restaurant-style setting where guests are served their meals, Ramsey said.
James Bordelon said he started volunteering at King's Kitchen about 10 months after it opened.
"The people are great, the pastor is great and I feel this is one of the best programs on the Gulf Coast," he said.
Bordelon said he has seen the daily numbers of served grow over the years.
"We always serve desserts and salads," he said. "I have been going to businesses to have them donate to the program."
Bordelon said he has witnessed the work of the kitchen's outreach pastor Rev. Connie Lyons.
"She has helped out so many homeless people with her own money," he said. "She is excellent. Many people donate their time and money for this organization that helps out so many. Everything we have here is donated. I wish more businesses would take notice and donate."
Bordelon said that there is also a clothesline where those in need can pick up items for free. There is also a jacket room with "wall to wall jackets" for the colder months.
Gina Luxich said she started coming to King's Kitchen about two years ago, after her daughter almost died from a seizure.
"I left my job at McDonalds to take care of her and I had no food and no money," she said. Luxich said she heard about King's Kitchen from a friend.
"I came in and the people are fantastic here," she said. "Everyone that serves is phenomenal. They actually saved my life. Without a meal to put in mine and my daughter's stomach, I don't know what we would have done."
In January of this year, Luxich said, she started attending services at Central Bible Church, something she said she hadn't done for a long time.
She also volunteers at the kitchen when she can.
"They've become more than a savior to me, they've become my family," Luxich said. "This kitchen is vital to Hancock County because we have so many that are in need. I know the people and each and every one of their needs. It's important to get the community involved to keep this up and going. The community needs it."
King's Kitchen is located at 2005 Longfellow Rd. in Bay St. Louis and serves meals Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Learn more about the soup kitchen through Facebook at the King's Kitchen.