Love's Kitchen in Meridian is experiencing a significant increase in demand.
Monday morning people were lined outside the door to Love's Kitchen, more than a half hour before it was set to open. According to officials at the agency, some people even sleep outside the building overnight in an effort to get breakfast early.
"Breakfast has doubled or tripled some days. We're getting like 60 or 70 people some days for breakfast," says Love's Kitchen executive director, Fannie Johnson. "Our lunch crowd is getting bigger, but it's changing. We have people who have moved on to other states to find a job."
Johnson says there are also many people the agency serves who work, but don't earn enough money to make ends meet.
Plus, she says some of their patrons are people who are elderly and don't receive enough in public assistance to buy adequate food.
"We have senior citizens who have come and asked us can we give them enough for supper because if we don't they don't know what they're going to eat," Johnson said.
Martha Bell of Meridian was one of the volunteers at Love's Kitchen Monday. For more than ten years she has been delivering hot meals from the agency to elderly residents who live in the eastern and western parts of the city.
"It makes them feel really fantastic. They wait at the door, sitting in the doorway," says Bell.
"This is a great thing because of the poverty level," says Glenn Rowland, one of those served by Love's Kitchen. "When people want to find work and can't get work they can still come here for a good meal and plate to get by without having to do anything wrong. Look at me, I'm a painter and I can't get work and this helps me eat."
With summer break for students soon to start, demand at Love's Kitchen is expected to increase even more.
This summer Love's Kitchen is expected to supply at least 300 lunches daily. Currently it provides anywhere from 250 to 300 lunches each day.