Long before most people got out of bed Tuesday, the cooks at the Los Angeles Mission were busy preparing special Christmas Eve meals for 4,000 homeless and needy people.
Meal preparations started at 4:00 a.m. inside the facility in Downtown Los Angeles, and were led by David Thomas, the Mission’s assistant food service director.
While preparing meals for 4,000 people is not easy, Thomas said he delights in helping to make a difference.
“I was homeless once before… Actually right here at the L.A. Mission, they helped me rehabilitate myself, and now I’m assistant food service director.”
The Mission’s Christmas Eve dinner was to include ham, baby carrots, brussels sprouts, macaroni & cheese and cranberry sauce.
For those into Southern cuisine, fried chicken and grits were on the menu for breakfast.
The Mission started serving breakfast at 5 a.m., and dinner was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.
Several celebrities planned to volunteer at the Mission Tuesday, including Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who arrived very early to help serve breakfast.
Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker, Harry Hamlin, Lisa Rinna and former Mayor Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa were scheduled to stop by later in the day.
Other Christmas Eve festivities included a Christmas Wonderland and toys were scheduled to be handed out to needy children.