Cold weather means more hungry mouths to feed

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - When it's freezing outside, there's a lot more stirring of pots at Feed My Sheep. There's a lot more chopping, pouring, and then, more people eating a hot and hearty meal to ward off the chill.

"We feed more mouths early in the morning time," said Feed My Sheep office manager Christina Lipke.

"We have to get up here earlier to get the breakfast done. That's an extra 100 or 150 meals that we have to do per day so it's a lot of strain."

Feed My Sheep also supplies meals for those who stay in cold weather shelters, leading to even more strain. According to assistant director Wayne Elias, it doesn't seem to be getting any better.

"This is the toughest I've ever seen it. It's real tough and I think it's mainly because of the economy and food stamps reduction and people just don't have like they used to have," Elias said.

Feeding thousands of hungry people every month is definitely a tough job, but for the volunteers and workers here at Feed My Sheep, it's a job they gladly do. It warms their hearts, even on a cold day.

Donna Marie is one of them.

"It makes me feel good. It makes me feel wonderful to help people that are homeless and have no place to go get food and stuff. It's a wonderful place," Marie said.

Joanne Tomlinson also thinks it's wonderful. Without this kitchen, she worries about her survival on the streets.

"This place means the world to you when there's nothing out there to help you, other than Feed My Sheep," Tomlinson said.

"They give you a hot meal every day and you can go up as many times as you want to and they keep a hot meal in you."

It's a hot meal that leaves many hungry people thankful every day.

Because of the increased demand, officials at Feed My Sheep say donations are badly needed. Those donations can come in the form of cash or food. They can be dropped off at the kitchen located on 19th Street, just west of Highway 49 in Gulfport.

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