The Christmas season is magical at Metropolitan Ministries, but particularly on Christmas Day.
- Metropolitan Ministries providing Christmas for those in need
- Meals and gifts for families and children
- How to give: Metropolitan Ministries
Metropolitan Ministries officials said this year has been especially challenging with people needing additional assistance after this summer's hurricanes.
As a result, volunteers have worked around the clock to get things prepared for Christmas.
Ministries workers were up late Christmas Eve preparing the holiday feast.
They cooked up more than 1,800 meals with:
- 450 pounds of ham
- 500 pounds of sweet potatoes
- 500 pounds of vegetables
- 200 cakes and pies
Today, about 100 families are receiving a traditional Christmas meal at the Met Ministries office in Tampa. Also, officials are passing out gifts for as many as 200 children.
Officials said an estimated 10,000 people have been helped this season with assistance and food and Christmas presents.
"A lot of the kids and the families really struggled during the storm," said Christine Long, Chief Programs Officer at Metropolitan Ministries. "They couldn't work and they lost income, they had additional expenses, their refrigerators went out and now it's all kind of hitting them so this holiday season when they may not be able to afford things for their cousins.
"This is the most important time to give the kids something under the tree this Christmas."