Homelessness is no laughing matter, but the people running Mercy Meals and More in New Bedford hope comedy lovers and the general public will line up to attend a comedy night fundraiser later this month.

Mercy Meals and More has been in business for 14 years at 634 Purchase Street, providing free hot breakfast meals to the area's homeless population six days a week, plus clothing items and medical foot care.

Chad Freitas and Karyl Ryan are volunteers for Mercy Meals. They visited Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss the fundraiser, and provide an update on the meals program.

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The comedy fundraiser is scheduled for Friday, April 26 at the United Fishermen Club at 639 Orchard Street. Tickets are $45. Doors will open at 5 pm. A buffet dinner, catered by Cove Surf and Turf, will be served at 6:30, and the comedy show starts at 8, with top local comedians performing. There will also be a cash bar, raffles, a door prize and a 50-50 drawing.

"We do a couple of fundraisers each year to raise money, and just about all of the money raised is used for food and supplies," Freitas said. "Fundraisers account for about 20 percent of our revenue. We also go after grants, we have individual donors, and we use direct-mail solicitation to area companies. You know how it is, non-profits always need money."

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Mercy Meals and More relies on unpaid volunteers who arrive in the early-morning hours to open the kitchen, put the coffee on, start scrambling eggs and flipping pancakes.

"The volunteers are the heart-beat of the operation," Ryan said.

Mercy Meals has about 30 volunteers who rotate in and out throughout the week.

You can help Mercy Meals and More continue its mission to aid the homeless by attending the April 26 fundraiser. Find out more at MercyMealsandMore.com or visit Funny4Funds.com to purchase tickets.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please email the host at jim.phillips@townsquaremedia.com.

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