KALISPELL - Volunteers were giving the gift of service in the Flathead by serving holiday meals to those in need on Christmas Day.
The Community Kitchen Feeding the Flathead is an organization that has been serving the community since 1989.
On 21 days of every month at three different churches in Kalispell get together to provide meals to those who are struggling and it just so happens that Christmas comes at the end of the month -- the most crucial time to provide this service.
“It’s a good time to feed people because people have run out of resources at that time. So it feels even more pointed to do it on such a cold day, on such an important day," volunteer Laurell Hartle said. "And everybody seems to be getting along and enjoying themselves so much it’s nice to be here.”
Hartle's family volunteers once a month and she says it makes it special because she can see how much help these people truly need.
“They don’t have a lot extra. When you see the same people come in over and over again and plus people wearing backpacks because they don’t have anywhere to sleep at night it makes serving some mashed potatoes and some ham feel pretty special," Hartle told MTN News.
Hartle says that the group lost most of their regular volunteers on Christmas but that it didn’t matter as even more than usual showed up to lend a hand. The extra help let the group make the meals and clean them up in a reasonable time so the volunteers can go back home to their families.
“Double the number that we usually have. And it’s huge because now we can all serve and help everybody get everything done and then we can return to our own family dinner. So I super appreciate that. Probably 15-to-20 volunteers," Hartle said.
The group served over 80 people on Monday, giving them a special, homemade Christmas meal.
The group's mission is "inspired by Matthew 25:31-40." According to their Facebook Page, The Community Kitchen Feeding the Flathead says, "our guests are not a number nor a captive audience for a sermon. They are our welcome guests. A good appetite and a good attitude are the only requirements needed to eat."