The church also operates The Lord’s Kitchen, which provides lunches to people Mondays through Fridays.
“It’s just an opportunity to reach out to those in the community that are most in need on Christmas Day,” said David Earle, executive director of Food for Body and Soul.
This year, the nonprofit incorporated services from the Union Rescue Mission, which heads up the shelter at the Burbank National Guard Armory.
On Christmas Eve, almost 50 people received a steak dinner at the armory. Those who spent the night had the option of being bused over to the Glendale church on Christmas morning.
“I’ve eaten here plenty of times,” said Christine Celaya, 57, who has been homeless for off and on for six to 10 years, and lives mostly in Studio City.
“I think this is wonderful because it’s hard for us. We’re homeless,” Celaya said. “Some of us, we don’t have anything.”
By 8:15 a.m., people had settled into their plates of pancakes, sausage and eggs with coffee and orange juice.
For Celaya, it was one of the first full meals that had been prepared for her in a while. She also had steak at the Burbank shelter Monday night.
“That meal was delicious,” she said. “I thank God that he sent them to us.”
Brenda Hekinian, 42, who has been homeless for three years and stays in Glendale mostly, said she appreciated the meal, but it wasn’t going to change her life.
“I mean, this is nice, but it’s like a Band-Aid on a stab wound,” Hekinian said. “I’m thankful for it. A lot of people don’t even have this.”
For the rest of the day, when many children and families will be enjoying the gifts they gave and received from one another, Celaya said she and her companions will just be waiting to get hungry again.
“We’ll see where we can get the next meal,” she said. “I know we’ll all be hungry by lunchtime.”
?RACHEL KANE covers education. She may be reached at (818) 637-3205 or by e-mail at email@example.com.