OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Unhoused individuals in Oakland had several options to receive a warm meal on Christmas. Teena Johnson, the owner of Mama T's, led a team of volunteers giving out plates of food. She has been doing it for 16 years.
"This is not just some corporate sponsored thing," she said. "This is funded by just everyday working people that see the need and help out."
People would arrive at her kitchen in downtown Oakland to grab food or take plates back to encampments. Over the years, she says more have needed food.
"The first year we did it, we probably fed about 100 people," she said. "Now the highest we go as many as 300."
Around the corner, at Jack London Square, Derreck Johnson opened his restaurant so people could get a warm meal. The Home of Chicken and Waffles played house to many Christmas morning.
"I feel it is an obligation of every business, especially small business to support the community," Johnson said. "When I volunteer in the past at the shelters, and I just wanted to open the restaurant where people can sit down and have more of a family feel and they can get served."
His team of volunteers greeted people, handed them a ticket and then a plate of food. He teamed up with Bishop Brondon Reems at the Center of Hope Community Church in East Oakland.
"It is a very difficult time," Reems said. "We have a lot of unhoused people and stress on families right now financially, and so it makes a difference anytime someone opens their doors and allows a meal to be served."
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