SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Community members packed into the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz on Monday for the 31st annual Christmas dinner hosted by the Veterans for Peace.
More than 150 people gathered for the feast. President of the Veterans for Peace organization says he is shocked at how many volunteers come out each year to help. "There's also an enormous amount of support from volunteers. A lot of people want to work on something like this, even on Christmas which surprises me in a way because people have families or something like that they need to go take care of," says Harry Meserve.
Volunteers KION spoke with say they look forward to it each year. "You know I've been blessed in my life with a lot of good things and I have a wonderful family so I like giving back. It's kind of the best of me when I'm doing this," says volunteer Ron Brady.
Brady also says he hopes to pass this tradition on to his kids and grandkids.
Saron Belunza, who attended the dinner say this meal comes at the right time, "generally about this time of the year, near the end of the month like this I'm out of food. So that's a pretty good deal, I can take some home and eat it at home."
Others say it was their only opportunity to eat today. "Thank goodness for them or I wouldn't have ate."
The dinner was cooked and provided by India Joze restaurant. The chef behind it all, Joseph Schultz says this is the best way to serve the community. "This is great, I mean it doesn't get better than this. Sharing food with someone is the only really good thing you can do. Just about anything else you could get, there could be a problem, but goods the only thing that is never a problem. So food is a low impact giving situation and people tend to enjoy it," says Schultz.
Along with food, jackets, socks, hats and mittens were also handed out to those in need.