FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Thousands of people are heading into the holidays with full stomachs thanks to the Fresno Mission and the Central California Food Bank.
More than 2,000 people at the one-table Fresno event received a hot meal including t-bone steak and warm clothes for the winter.
The people behind the massive event that stretched over a quarter mile long are husband and wife Matt and Kym Dildine.
Matt Dildine is the CEO of the Fresno Mission and Kym Dildine is co-CEO of the Central California Food Bank.
Matt Dildine said this a community event to enjoy a community meal no matter who you are or what your circumstance is.
Along with a hot served meal participants also received a to-go box as an early holiday present.
“We have a box full of shelf-stable soup breakfast items veggies pasta sauces oatmeal shelf stable milk and a holiday ham,” said Kym Dildine.
For the less fortunate, today’s lunch was special.
“Steak is not something that comes on the menu often,” said participant Jameece McLaren.
After friends and neighbors broke bread, they headed inside the city center to pick out a coat.
Marie Freitas says she’s normally the one donating clothes and is now on the receiving end.
“It means a lot. We’re going from something to nothing to coats. In life for me it’s big”, said Freitas.
Many leaders in the community took part in today’s event and say it is more than just a free meal.
“Today is very symbolic we get to spend time with the community we get to engage with the community we get to break bread with the community and I think that’s important,” said Paco Balderrama Fresno Police Chief.
Today was one-table Fresno’s second annual lunch and they expected to continue the tradition for years to come.