BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Earl Thofield is the executive chef at Loaves and Fishes in Biloxi. He knows what's about to happen now that the holidays are over.
"It gets slow, everything slows down. Donations slow down and we just keep making meals, try to keep making meals," Thofield lamented.
How slow is at at the Lord is my Help in Ocean Springs? Barbara Ruddiman is the director.
"We are down about 30 percent on our cash donations, which is what we need to keep a roof over our head, and pay the bills. And also the main thing is to buy food that we prepare every day," Ruddiman explained.
Volunteer hours also go down, but not today at Loaves and Fishes, where members of a Connecticut church are lending a hand. One of them is Jenn Callery.
"It makes me feel happy that everybody is being taken care of. And I know a lot of people I've noticed are veterans, so I think that anything you can do to help them out is really important because they've done a lot for our country," Callery said.
Efforts to feed the hungry are always there, no matter what month it is, no matter what year it is. But one thing is certain, when the temperature goes down, the need goes up, according to Loaves and Fishes Director Joe Gautier.
"Instead of being here from 6am until 1:30 or 2pm, we're feeding the shelters at 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon, one extra meal each day," Gautier said.
For those getting a hot meal, like recently retired Greg Altman, donations make a great difference in their lives. "Living on a fixed income with social security, day to day, after about a week I run out of food. So if I didn't have these places open for me, sometimes I go a couple of days without anything to eat at all," Altman said.
And it's not just soup kitchens that see a decline in donations. Large charities experience the same problems as well.