Grant Bell is a community pharmacist who has lived in the city of Biloxi for a majority of his life. He has a deep passion for serving community members in need and spreading love to everyone he meets. His mother Neomia was his inspiration for cooking and using a meal as an expression of love to others. His commitment to God has led him to serve with Loaves and Fishes for the past two years. He plans to continue to learn and grow his leadership skills to better serve his community. “Loaves and Fishes has given me more than I could ever hope to return and I’m blessed to call them my family. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for us!”
Father Gregory Barras
Gregory Barras, is a retired priest of the Diocese of Biloxi. I have served in this ministry for 35 years. My association with Loaves and Fishes has spanned over twenty years. I have learned much through serving the guests that come to Loaves and Fishes. Through their eyes and faces, I see the presence of Christ who teaches me to love and serve, that I might receive what I need that moment. I look forward to giving through serving and I look forward to learning from our guests. It is a privilege to serve Loaves and Fishes.
Julissa Payne Bishop has been a lifelong resident of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Julissa has a bachelors in Business Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is a realtor at Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty. She is a member of both Our Lady of Fatima and New Life Church in Biloxi. From a young age helping others has been a passion for her. God has big plans for success and happiness in this young ladies life. Her faith continues to grow and shine!
Michael White as been on the board for over two years and currently works for the Mississippi Housing Authority.
In October of 2019, Leslie was asked to join the board, and shortly after in January she took over as Board President which only lasted until April when Bob Learned decided to retire and asked Leslie to fill his spot. It was in April in the middle of the COVID Pandemic that’s Leslie stepped up and became Executive Director. Minds were put at ease when they saw how capable and dedicated Ms. Leslie is. With very little training or knowledge of what her new job required she jumped in 100%. I watched her spend hours upon hours and late nights and early mornings find, process, and complete a pile of paperwork that filled 15 file boxes. I think Loaves and Fishes is blessed and has a very bright future with Ms. Leslie at the helm. She has an amazing heart, a fearless mentality, and refuses to fail.
Louise Smith & Bernie "Buck" O' Gea
Louise and Buck met at Loaves and fishes through her attendance at St. Michael’s church. Buck had a fall, which prevented him from serving the people he loved. Louise took it upon herself to drive him to and from building to volunteer. Buck later had a stroke and needed further assistance to continue volunteering. She took it upon herself to start volunteering with Buck to help him and has come to love the work that God has given them. She is caregiver, friend, partner, and a provider of blessings to everyone who interacts with her. It brings her great joy to know that she’s doing good for others and it’s evident to everyone who has the pleasure of meeting her.
"Buck", Founding Member
Buck has been humbly serving with loaves and fishes since it was established in 1983. Buck served for several years with his loving wife June before she passed away. They were married for 60 years and were connected to Loaves and fishes through the nativity parish. He was in the building supply business for 50 years and has used those skills to maintain and organize the entire food inventory of loaves and fishes. Buck was called by faith to volunteer and has dedicated his life to serving our community selflessly and without recognition. “We can feed them not only with food, but we feed them with friendship.” Buck has been central to our organization by providing wisdom, love, and humor when it is most needed.
Louise and Buck pictured together above.