Free meals can help to foster community for those without, during the holidays

A plate of food
A plate of food(KWTX)
Published: Dec. 24, 2022 at 6:35 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Christmas and can be a joyous time even if you don’t have many people to spend it with.

A hot meal is something everyone deserves, especially during the holidays when temperatures are below freezing.

The Salvation Army in Waco knows that firsthand.

They held their annual Christmas luncheon on Saturday feeding hundreds of people.

Sidney wager says he never misses a Christmas luncheon or the chance to connect with old friends and new.

“Every single year they spend their Christmas here. They don’t go home to their families. I guess this is their family. We’re their family,” said Wager when discussing the amount of time everyone puts into the luncheon.

Wager has attended every Christmas luncheon for a decade.

Over the years he’s noticed how not only are those in need grateful for the resource but the volunteers as well.

“Christmas this year, everyone was asking what I want, what am I doing. I said nothing. I’m going to The Salvation Army for the day. This is all I wanted this year. It’s my Christmas wish to be here this year,” said volunteer Jackie Stigliano.

For those who go without so many days of the year, the luncheon is a time for celebration, fellowship and enjoying one’s company.

Along with the meal, nursing student Mariah Lozano handed out free coats and blankets.

“Our community is giving to us by just sharing their hearts and we’re celebrating Christmas together. Although it’s people we may not know it creates new community and that’s what most important because it keeps the cycle going,” said Lozano.

She saw the need in her community and took the opportunity to provide.

With full stomachs and warm hearts, many left the salvation army with a new sense of rejuvenation.