Volunteers help the needy on Christmas

Volunteer Michelle Pallari serves a free hot Christmas dinner at the Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco, Friday, Dec. 25, 2009. Glide expects to serve 5,000 turkey and ham meals today. (AP Photo/Russel A. Daniels)

December 26, 2009 4:32:30 PM PST
Hundreds of volunteers were up early Christmas morning helping to prepare and deliver warm meals to homebound people in San Francisco.

This year, they delivered a record 6,000 boxed meals to the sick and the elderly. The program is funded by donations from the Salvation Army's Red Kettle program.

The Salvation Army says donations are slightly down this year but there's been a 20 percent increase in demand.

"There's a lot of great meal programs in the city where people can go to different facilities and get a warm meal on Christmas. But there is a significant population where folks just can't get out of their home and so this way we are able to provide them with a little Christmas cheer and a warm meal on this holiday," said Laine Hendricks from the Salvation Army.

The meal included ham, mixed vegetables and yams.

The annual Christmas meal at Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco included a tribute of sorts for the pastor.

Parishoners greeted Reverend Cecil Williams on this, his 45th year at Glide.

He presided over the Christmas service, followed by a meal for the homeless that brought hundreds to the dining hall.

Just like at Glide, the line of those wanting food also stretched out the door at St. Anthony's. Volunteers expected to serve a Christmas meal to 4,000 people today at the foundation's dining hall in the tenderloin.

They also handed out gift bags.


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