holiday meal at church

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COLUMBIA - St. Luke United Methodist Church hosted a Christmas meal for community members in need on Sunday, Dec. 25.

One man found the event by chance. John Anderson had been looking around for somewhere to eat for more than 30 minutes. Each restaurant or grocery store he passed was closed. He said it was a "blessing" that the church was open.

"There's a lot of hungry people out there including myself and I'm full now," Anderson said.

Anderson was one of 250 people who attended the meal on Sunday. The coordinators of the event said food and fellowship is what it's all about.

"I think it provides a a needed meal that's definitely what draws people but it also provides another need too, a sense of community."

This is the sixth annual Christmas meal at St. Luke's. The idea was born from a conversation between Kaye Thompson and Jim Williams six years ago.

"We realized there was no one in the community providing a Christmas meal on Christmas day," Kaye Thompson said. "The even keeps growing. We also provide coats, hats, gloves and socks to help those in need keep warm after today."

The event coordinators said they were surprised by the turn out and thankful for all the volunteers and donations that made the day possible.