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Salvation Army feeds community on Christmas Day despite COVID-19 pandemic

Salvation Army Christmas Day Meals
Posted at 5:56 PM, Dec 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 23:20:57-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — For Biance Gastelum and her family, piling into the car on Christmas Day would be more than just a drive.

"It meant we got to have a traditional Christmas meal. We're like many of the other struggling families on pandemic assistance. This meant a lot," said Gastelum.

A full holiday meal was brought right out to her car. The Salvation Army offered both drive-up and walk-up options this year, to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Volunteers still served the food pipping hot, but the preparation started days prior.

"We start cooking five days before. We cooked 150 turkeys. Everything else is made today," said Salvation Army volunteer chef, Tim Grimes.

Grimes leads the pack of volunteers, and has for 25 years. This year, the stuffing, mashed potatoes, vegetables and gravy were all prepared with half the usual number of volunteers.

"We make sure we have our masks on. We make sure that we have our gloves on, more than we ever have," said Grimes.

Some things never change, according to Grimes.

"COVID-19 doesn't change how this makes me feel. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel happy to help others," said Grimes.

Something as simple as a meal can be enough to make this holiday feel special.

"I am enjoying a very humble Christmas. This is an opportunity for me to be grateful for what I have," said meal recipient, Alexander Shi Shi.