BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Nearly a thousand meals were served on Christmas Day.
It was a part of the Jimmie Hale Mission's annual Christmas Dinner. Three hundred of those meals were delivered to the seniors in the community.
To serve that many people, the preparations start well in advance.
"We started cooking turkeys a little over a week ago," said Kitchen Supervisor James Poe.
There were 48 turkeys, hams, and 15 gallons of gravy, but that wasn't all that was on the menu.
"Sweet potatoes, dressing, and gravy…the whole nine yards and pumpkin pie," continued Poe.
He said this is a tough time of year for people who don't have a place to go or anything to eat.
"Nobody wants to spend Christmas at the Jimmie Hale Mission and so what we try to do here is give them encouragement."
Sometimes that's through a warm meal.
"A meal can lead to a changed life. It's hard to think about any of your other circumstances or anything else in your life if you're hungry and if you don't know where you going to spend the night. If we can meet those two basic needs and take those off the table then we can start helping guys change their lives," continued Poe.
He said they want to provide encouragement to get the men and women through the holiday. A lot of that encouragement comes through the many volunteers.
70 of the volunteers took those prepared meals to elderly in the community.
"When you are a senior citizen or sick and shut in and I'm sure you are feeling a little down and you're disconnecting from family," said Tony Cooper, Jimmie Hale Mission Executive Director.
"Right now to have a stranger come take time out of their Christmas to come to you and bless you with a meal and to give you a greeting and a smile and that's got to lift your spirit," continued Cooper.
Many of the volunteers Monday were children.