Volunteers at Loaves & Fishes will serve hundreds of hot meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to Sacramento's neediest.
Dozens of people from the Sacramento chapter of the American Muslim Voice Foundation helped scoop heaping piles of potatoes, bake countless chicken breasts and steam mounds of green beans in preparation for the two holiday meals.
Sister Libby Fernandez, the organization's executive director, says the charity relies on volunteers.
“We get a lot of community members who want to give on Christmas Day, which is great. So, we have an overwhelming amount of volunteers," Fernandez says. "We always say that, ‘Come by the next day, the following day. The beginning of the New Year.’ Every day is a need for someone to be served.”
Loaves & Fishes started 33 years ago. It offers a shelter for homeless women and children and a school for young people, among many other services.
Homeless resident David Haley says the inter-faith charity has helped him for years. Haley is a great-grandfather who says he sleeps in his car. He was washing dishes at the charity this morning to help get ready for the meals. He says it’s his way to return the favor.
“It’s a great place to give back, man," Haley told Capital Public Radio. "I mean, they’re always here for us. Not just the holidays. Twenty-four seven. Three-hundred sixty five days. Fifty two weeks. They’re always here.”
The charity expects to serve up to 800 meals tonight and again on Christmas Day.
The menu includes up to 1,600 pounds of chicken, plus mashed potatoes and green beans, along with apple and pumpkin pies.