FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – It’s a Fresno holiday tradition that’s all about giving back. But the man who puts it all together said it isn’t just about the mouthwatering barbecue, it’s about love as well.
For Evangelist Ned Mallory, serving free meals on Christmas day is a tradition more than 20 years in the making.
“When you can come back and show the love to people regardless of whats going on,” Mallory said. “You can still show the love, that’s what people need.”
Setup at the corner of Peach and Olive street and pulling off this festive feast takes a lot of support. This year, Mr. Rib said more than 700 donations helped make it all possible.
Many people gathered Wednesday, thankful to celebrate Christmas with a precooked meal.
“It makes a big difference. It makes a big difference to the community, it really pulls them together,” said Randy Wallace, who stopped by for the first time Wednesday.
Mr. Rib also gave out toys to kids who showed up with their parents bringing smiles to many little faces.
Jenny Copeland showed up with her family and children for the fifth year.
“Seeing the smiles on the kids faces when they get the gifts,” she said in regards to her favorite part of the event.
Mr. Rib said the kids is what motivates him to spend Christmas behind the grill instead of at home.
“Seeing those kids.. that’s one of my favorites, seeing the kids eating. Because, a lot of people during this holiday, a lot of families.. moms, kids don’t have nothing to eat,” Mallory said.
Mr. Rib doesn’t just do this for Christmas.
He does it on Thanksgiving and on Mother’s and Father’s Days as well.
He told KSEE 24 that all food left over will be donated to the community. Anyone interested in making a donation or helping out can contact him directly at (559) 213-5183.