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JCOC's Christmas Eve to-go meal handout warms the hearts of many

The Judeo-Christian Outreach Center gave Christmas Eve meals out to around 80 people struggling with homelessness this year.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — For the past 34 years, the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center has been handing out meals for people facing homelessness or those struggling to find an affordable meal for the holiday.

Development Director of JCOC, Kristin Ward, said her organization has seen more people dealing with homelessness this year, with the pandemic hurting impacting everyone. 

"We are there for those who are housed but are choosing unfortunately between paying rent or buying food and we want to make sure everybody has an amazing Christmas Eve and a Christmas dinner," said Ward.

From turkey to mashed potatoes and vegetables to a homemade pie, State Senator Bill DeSteph and several volunteers worked to make the comfort meals in the kitchen of Central Shore in Virginia Beach.

"They're fantastic, the volunteers," said DeSteph. "They really are the ones that do make this work."

Carving the turkey and slicing the pies to place them into separate containers and fill a whole grocery bag full of food, the volunteers said it's an effort they love to do every year. 

Ward said though JCOC hands out meals every single day, they like to make holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve special to bring a little more joy to people who have trouble finding it this time of year. 

"It's a highlight for the staff as well as those that we serve every year," said Ward.

She said they will continue this tradition for as long as they can. The volunteers will be serving out the to-go meals in a few locations during certain hours. To find out more, click here.