MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — For thousands of people Joe Cain day is a time to party. But if you’re on duty as a first responder it can be a challenge getting through a 12-plus hour day. That’s where volunteers with food come in to help. Inside the temple downtown, a crowd of roughly 60 volunteers works in an assembly line fashion, packing meals with a passion.

“We do it every year for the last few years and it’s just fun and we give back to the community,” said volunteer Richard Middlebrooks. This is all part of the annual “Operation Feed the Cops” downtown restaurants donate food for more than 500 meals for first responders to be made and delivered to the people on the beat on Joe Cain Sunday.

“They can’t leave their post they are there all day once they’re at their place they can’t leave so this gives so this gives them the chance to stay focused, stay fed, and have an opportunity to support the people of the city,” said Brad Cooper with the Mobile Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association. This is the sixth year for Operation Feed the Cops and there’s a reason why it’s had such longevity.

“I’ve continued to do it because I have relationships with these men and women at the restaurant and it means a lot to me because it’s soothing to the soul,” said the owner of Bob’s Downtown Restaurant Tony Sawyer.